Teachers go back to university for a day

Posted on 11th June 2016

On June 11th 19 A level teachers gave up their Saturday to come to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, in order to engage in some serious and focused study of Christianity in the run-up to their summer preparations for teaching the new A level.

Dr Jess Keady exploring feminist readings of the Genesis creation narratives
Dr Jess Keady exploring feminist readings of the Genesis creation narratives

The day included lectures and workshops on a range of topics covered by all the new exam specifications, and engagement in vigorous and informed debate on numerous issues spanning church history, biblical studies, Christianity and culture, and Christianity and contemporary debates. Teachers wrestled with questions about the nature of religious authority, and about concepts of sin, salvation and atonement. They explored the history of the development of the Trinity, and asked whether Christianity is irredeemably patriarchal, or essentially liberative.  Along the way they ‘met’ various key figures, such as Mary Daly, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Karl Barth and Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza, ‘channelled’ by TRS Chester’s own academics. They explored some of the latest academic resources for the study of Christianity, and even played a game of ‘atonement monopoly.’ For the tweets see #alevelxty @TRSChester.

Chester staff greatly appreciated the positive and informed engagement of the teachers, and the day was marked as much by fun and humour as it was by serious academic study.

The department hopes to offer similar days in the coming year. Please email Dr Wendy Dossett w.dossett@chester.ac.uk if you would like to be on the mailing list.


 Comments from teachers

‘Thank you for all the resources and for putting on such a wonderful, informative and engaging conference.   I feel much more confident in how to approach the topics to tailor them to my students.’

‘Amongst the highlights were being introduced to feminist approaches to theology. I like the ‘role-playing elements’ especially the discussion afterwards.’

‘It was just what I was looking for, pitched at the right level and pointing to more targeted reading.’

‘Grateful for the explanation of complex issues that I haven’t thought about since university in a clear and logical way. ‘

‘Has given me more confidence in delivering the new A level.’

‘Lot of good information provided – hand-outs were very detailed and informative.’

‘Good range of topics, thoroughly prepared. Excellent pace.’

‘Particularly liked the ‘talking heads’ and will use this approach in my teaching.’

‘I enjoyed the discussion that built from the context delivered, the freedom to ask questions and willingness to address any concerns.’

‘Some of the delivery was absolutely inspirational’

‘Very informative and engaging presentations that deepened knowledge and understanding.’

‘Fantastic explanation of difficult theories – really engaging speakers – thoroughly enjoyable.’