Western Civilization is part of the core curriculum required for all students at Oklahoma Baptist University. Throughout the course, students learn how to relate historical occurrences to the literature developed during the corresponding time period. To help students actively engage in their study for this course, Dr. Glenn Sanders, OBU professor of history and division chair of behavioral and social sciences, helped develop a new strategy for students to learn the material.
Sanders discusses his strategies in a paper titled, "The 'Received' Course: Following Practices in the Core Curriculum," which he presented at the Calvin College Prince Conference Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., in October.
"The conference also included papers/presentations from other people interested in exploring the application of various Christian practices to teaching," Sanders said.
Some of the key features of Sanders' plan consist of holding afternoon discussion sessions, as well as community-building practices.
"In the afternoon sessions, we both talk about practices and use them to explore topics under consideration in the morning class," Sanders said.
The foundation of the paper focuses on seven principles: form the teacher spiritually; challenge default teaching styles and approaches with new ones; teach students about Christian practices; help students live into Christian practices and grow spiritually as well as intellectually; use the practices to interpret the subject; explore the practices for theological implications and their challenge to dominant cultural assumptions and forms; and to refashion testing.