Other places I blog

 

 

Search
Stats

web stats

Follow Me on Twitter
« God, Be Merciful To Me | Main | Why you're at seminary makes a big difference »
Saturday
Nov032018

Why we need mixed learning environments

This is going to be lightning fast. I'm having an engagement party here today, and I'm waiting for my kitchen floor to dry. While I was doing so, I read an article at Christianity Today, which got me thinking. If I don't get this down now, by Monday, I will have forgetten.

The article promotes the need for all-female spaces in the Church. I agree with that principle, but I also think it needs to deliberately balanced to include mixed environments, and I think we need to be careful about making generalizations about what all women "need."

The first time I ever went to an all-female Sunday school class, fifteen minutes into it, there was crying and hugging. 

"What am I doing here?" I asked myself.

I am not a public cryer. I don't share intimate details about my womanly functions in a group, nor will I ever, ever share marital issues with people I don't know and trust very well. And even then, I am hesitant. Unless my husband was being abusive, I would never share such details with people in a setting like that. I'm not sure i want to know everyone else's issues in a grouop like that, either. Sharing, something which is encouraged in the article, is not my reason for going to a Sunday school class. If I want to "share," I will find one friend and we'll share away. Perhaps some women don't mind. Perhaps some women thrive on that. It's a mistake to say all women need that. I go to Sunday school to hear the Word proclaimed.

I have taken one all-female class in seminary. While it was enjoyable, what I hoped I would learn, how to be a better teacher, was not the focus. It was heavy on group dynamics and light on the actual practice of teaching. I learned far more from my mixed gender class on hermeneutics. I don't have any plans to take any more "all female" classes, because I learn far more from my mixed classes. I want to learn content: principles for interpretation, theological truths, and ways to utilize these in my life and in my teaching. If that makes me a minority, then I plead the cause of minority rights.

I would never say that all-female environments should be banned from churches. Surely, women are also capable of gathering a group of women in their homes, in addition to the church. Why does everything have to go through committee?

I believe that women and men may discuss differently. But that cry for all-female environments needs to be made with a caution and with the recognition that sometimes, both women and men need to learn to discuss in different ways.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>