In Reply to: Sunday School Curriculum posted by Linda on July 02, 1998 at 06:16:09:
I will try to provide a quick response here; this question deserves a more thorough answer, though, and I intend to add a page to the web addressing it.
Some quick guidelines:
0) Before you start looking at actual curriculum lines, sit down with whatever network of folks you can gather (church staff, selected teachers, other leaders) and jot down some guidelines and priorities. This will give you a checklist of what to look for and also give you the advantages of counsel and joint ownership. Some suggested categories follow.
1) Are you interested in the best learning experience for the pupils or in the easiest preparation for the teachers? This is a basic tradeoff...the teachers will need to invest some additional effort (training, preparation, planning, etc.) if the pupils are going to achieve the best learning. I urge you to put the pupil's needs first, but you really have to have the teachers' buy-in to accomplish this.
2) Are you interested in the absolute lowest cost or in the best value? Beware of the trick of offering you "right to reproduce" pupil sheets. This appears to be lower cost, but you need to find out how much it costs you to copy a sheet on your local setup. This will often be on the order of 8 cents a copy (considering usage-sensitive maintenance contracts, paper, toner, etc.), and you can get a higher quality, full color pupil handout considerably cheaper.
3) You should prioritize several other items, so you can effectively compare offerings:
-- Doctrinal Soundness
-- Evangelistic Approach
-- Age-appropriate Teaching Methods
-- Degree of Learner Involvement
-- Available Training Options for Teachers
-- Variety of Teaching Methods
-- Approach to Bible Content Coverage (e.g., seven-year cycle covering all major scripture areas)
You can probably get samples from various publishers. If you have time, I recommend you do this and invite your teachers to evaluate them...but only after discussing the areas mentioned above (to give them some background and a common base on what to consider).
Curriculum is an important consideration for your entire Sunday School; it is worth taking the time to do it right, and the more folks you can manage to get involved in the decision, the better off you will be in the long run. May God bless your efforts!
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