Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Pioneering Plan B: bite-sized education?
Last Friday, I was contemplating a pioneering disaster.
Last Friday, we only had one student enrolment for the March 17-21 Pioneering intensive with Dave Male. Despite a range of advertising, despite Dave being well known in South Australia, I was contemplating the difficulty involved in offering a decent educational experience to a class of one.
It was time for plan B. Annoying at the time, but in hindsight, totally consistent with a course on pioneering! We had shaped the original intensive with Dave to run mornings and evenings. So on Friday we decided to drop the mornings. Instead we will use the time to work one on one with Dave, designing a blended learning distance Pioneering package. What this will mean is that any person, any candidate, can study Pioneering with us at any time in the years ahead, rather than simply by intensive when Dave Male is in town. Which will be a really exciting addition to our Bachelor of Ministry degree, a permanent topic in Pioneering! (A first in Australia I think.) So that was the first part of Pioneering Plan B.
The second part of Pioneering Plan B was to take the existing week long evening programme and offer it in bite-sized chunks. Same topics. But advertise it not as a week, but as bite-sized. Come to one evening or more. Even all four.
The third part of Pioneering plan B was to emphasise that the existing evening programme is not about content but conversation. Rather than lecture, we are offering worship, drink and a story. Four stories actually, of women exploring pioneering in different ways. Which will start a conversation about the issues, the resources, what we are learning about innovation, leadership, mission and church. All stimulated by Dave and by all those who participate.
Some five days later, we have
13 18 20 RSVP’s. Which is a quite a turnaround from the solitary one.
It’s really got me thinking. What was the difference? The personal invite email? The fact the evenings are being offered for free? The deliberate naming of a shift from content to conversation? The shift to bite-sized, with folk able to give an evening, but not a week?
I’m looking forward to doing some market research but I suspect the biggest factor is the latter, the offer of bite-sized education. That one week is too much, but an evening (of four for some) is do-able. Which raises some intriguing questions for education in general. What might it mean to modularize a syllabus, to go bite-sized?
And the one enrolment? They are delighted at our flexibility. They will get some focused 1 on 1 time with Dave Male at the start and end of the week, in order to establish some specifically tailored guided reading, all mixed in with some evenings of rich conversation to help their own processing.
And for those in Adelaide, it’s still not too late to RSVP to steve dot taylor at flinders dot edu dot au. Here’s the bite-sized programme, come to one, come to more …
Monday 17, March- Pioneering and I – Personal leadership and the pioneer – confidence, priorities, delegation, project planning; sustainability, with a story by Tracey Spencer of early contact between missionary and indigenous peoples
Tuesday, 18,March- Pioneering and we – Working with wider church and agencies – Resourcing (funds, people, volunteers); explaining, clarifying, communicating, with a story by Christy Spier of community gardening as a hot house for community development
Wednesday 19, March- Pioneering and us – Communal Leadership and the Pioneer – building vision, relationships, recruiting, growing volunteers, with a story by Lynne Taylor of building participation across three fresh expressions
Thursday 20, March- Pioneering and seasons – Navigating Leadership changes in fresh expressions, as individuals and in the groups, with a story by Ruthmary of transitioning a community from one pioneering venture to another
Uniting College Common Space, 7:15 pm-9:15 pm, RSVP by Friday 14 March, for catering purposes.
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