RSA Animations

I love the animations that the RSA are producing these days.

Here’s a good one on changing educational paradigms.

Just over 10 minutes – lots of ideas, hard-core animation, first class communication skills.


  1. annie t says

    Fascinating stuff; like watching a (very) animated Paulo Freire! Loved the insight ‘collaboration is the stuff of growth’. Interesting implications for a congregational paradigm for theological education. Thanks Kelvin.

  2. Yes – I was also reminded of my synod question about TISEC, which I still don’t think I’ve received an adequate answer to, which was something like this: “Is learning through TISEC driven by normalised marking or learning outcomes?”

  3. presumably neither, but by the grace of God?

    (‘normal’, ‘outcomes’, and ‘TISEC’ all in the same sentence could lead to much fun. But I suspect I’d head down the via negativa again.)

    • The answer that I got was “both” though I’ve never believed that can be possible. I do believe that TISEC at one time or another took on the trappings of each of those learning models, but that is not the same thing at all.

  4. Rosemary Hannah says

    Can I gently suggest that the Tisec you love to hate has over the years changes significantly?

  5. TISEC has always claimed to be changing – in that way it always is the same.

    I do accept that things have changed but have no way of knowing whether they have changed for the better. I still know people whom it appears to suit and I still know people who get distressed by what is done to them within it. In that respect at least, again, it remains the same.

    I’ve said before now that one of the reasons that TISEC is something that still presents unresolved issues for some of us who went through it is that there was never any public accountability within the church over what was done to us. No-one was ever held responsible and even though TISEC itself went through several reviews, the reasons for those reviews being carried out were never transparent.

    I’d still be happy to receive a coherent answer to the question. Incidentally, when I was in TISEC, the answer was clear – it was driven by learning goals and outcomes.

    I was at the General Synod where we voted for TISEC to cease to be a teaching institution. That was a pretty strong decision and one which was enthusiastically celebrated by some. (I went to the celebratory lunch afterwards and some folk came up from England for it). That does make it hard to understand what has happened subsequently.

  6. Rosemary Hannah says

    More than it would be appropriate for me as a staff member to answer to, and more than I am the most appropriate person to answer to, educational theory not being my speciality. However, FWIW I can answer to the fact that normalised marking is firmly in place, and that our external examiner is more than happy with the standards our students achieve. Beyond doubt all those who get a diploma from us have achieved the educational equivalent of the first two years of University education.

  7. Well, this isn’t comparing like with like as the current external examiner acts for an institution (albeit one which may have a financial interest) that had nothing to do with TISEC when I was in it, however, I can say that the external reports on TISEC were always astonishingly good.

    All the more astonishing for those of us who were in TISEC at the time I was, actually.

    It would be interesting to compare the quantifiable academic achievements of Scottish ordinands over time. I’ve a notion that two years of university study falls short of the standards for ordinands which the General Synod was hoping for when it last voted on a report about TISEC.

  8. Rosemary Hannah says

    The current external examiner is, it is true, employed; however he is not a member of the qualifying institution. He is a member of another independent academic institution, thereby bringing to his examination direct knowledge of at least three bodies (theirs, ours and his as it were). The work of our students is scrutinised by two markers at Tisec, and each piece of work scrutinised by the external examiner who checks it is achieving the same standards as YSJ. The over-all standard of YSJ is likewise scrutinised to ensure it too is achieving work of the same standard for the same level as other Universities.

    The question of whether standards nationally have risen or fallen is a different question, and harder to ascertain. We may indeed have our own different opinions. But I think it beyond doubt that the general level of the work of Tisec students is the same as the level (qualification for qualification) as the standard of students nation wide. So very much work goes into ensuring this.

    Personally, I would not be prepared to grant a degree in anything involving Biblical studies without knowledge of the Biblical languages. However it is a fact that the Universities now often do this – and indeed even forty years ago it was possible to obtain a M. Theol at St Andrews with only Greek. However regrettable this is, insisting on a full degree will not restore this.

    For those who study for a qualification with Tisec while working, as indeed for those who study with other bodies while working, to achieve two years of degree level study while in a full time job is a considerable achievement. To reach degree standard would take another 18 months I suppose – and that is a decision for the church to take.

    While I would be very sympathetic to the idea of encouraging more students to undertake a full time degree at a University, the funding of such things is a decision for the denomination, not Tisec. To ensure this in the present economic climate would be expensive, and for students who already have personal commitments, not always possible. This is why most English dioceses offer part-time training. The brief for Tisec is to offer a course that those NOT taking a full-time a course can follow, together with specifically vocational study which the Universities do not provide.

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