Shortly after our last discussion of meetings, there was a new development that has sparked discussion throughout the Bloggernacle: The new manual for Priesthood and Relief Society (adult classes) is a book which, until now, “largely has been used as a primer for new converts.”
Even though (I assume) LDS Sunday School is still separate from PH/RS, I suspect that this news is what set off BCC’s three part series on what’s wrong with Sunday School (which, in turn, sparked teaching trainwrecks and good thoughts on teaching Sunday School). Here’s what seems to be the key point:
In your schooling, if you had a class for which you could show up without doing the homework and for which you felt you already knew all the appropriate answers, was that a good class? Sure, you may have gotten an A, but do you really retain much from that course?
I’d even say it leads to a philosophical (or semantic) question: What does it mean to call it a “lesson,” “class,” or Sunday “School” if there’s no expectation of the students learning anything they didn’t already know? It’s like a school out of the Twilight Zone: everyone gets an A, but no one is allowed to pass and move on to the next class — they have to eternally repeat the class they’ve just taken.
As important as the basics may be, I think that avoidance of advanced topics in officially-sanctioned classes creates a situation where a lot of members don’t even know “what Mormons believe” on various questions of theology and doctrine. This confusion can be a problem, as discussed in my review of Latayne Scott’s book (especially in the comments).
Now, I expect that I’ll get flack for posting something wholly negative about classes that I don’t attend (especially since I just got done talking about keeping things civil), but I hope this post falls within the bounds of constructive criticism…