The Christian Education ministry of a church spent a lot of time researching which curriculum to choose, resulting in a choice they believed would fit their church. With this curriculum, over the course of time, people would potentially receive a well-rounded Bible education. As they observed their teachers, they noted polar reactions to the role of the curriculum:
Some teachers wouldn’t leave home without it.
These were teachers who were overly reliant on the curriculum. They followed it to the letter, exercising little creative thought, making curriculum their all in all. Some even taught with the teacher’s manual in hand, reading word for word. If teaching didn’t go well, then they blamed the curriculum.
Other teachers would rather leave it at home.
These were teachers who used the curriculum begrudgingly, viewing curriculum as a noose around their necks. They would rather completely do their own thing but since the curriculum was required, they did just enough to make it appear like they were using the curriculum. If teaching didn’t go well, then they blamed it on being confined by the curriculum.
What the Christian Education ministry skipped in the process, was training teachers on how to use the curriculum.
First, they needed to communicate why curriculum was necessary. It was a means of keeping students on track to potentially receive a well-rounded Biblical education. If teaching was not coordinated through the use of curriculum, it was possible content could be duplicated or overlapped within a short period of time and some important truths missed altogether. Curriculum was not a substitute for the Bible but rather a tool to teach the Bible.
Second, they needed to present the curriculum as a a guide. While it was important to use the curriculum, it was not expected that teachers had to teach it word for word. At the same time, it did serve to keep everyone on track and so it was important to use it.
Third, they needed to emphasize that teachers held a critical part in making sure the lesson went well. They couldn’t always blame the curriculum when teaching didn’t go well. They needed to make any adjustments necessary to insure that the lesson plan fit their students.