The truth of God’s Word never changes, but with each new group of catechumens come different learning needs. How do you tailor your teaching to meet students where they are? This post will explore teaching models for confirmation and help you decide which works best for your setting.
Using a Direct Instruction Model for Confirmation
This model might be the style that comes to mind when you think of confirmation classrooms. A teacher leads, giving lectures or guiding activities to help students learn. Oftentimes, classes with direct instruction utilize workbooks, presentation slides, and verbal teaching to pass down the faith from generation to generation.
Students learning within this model benefit from hearing the basics of the faith straight from their instructors. Teachers are able to give clear descriptions for things that might be confusing and to answer questions in real time. Classroom time is utilized for specific instruction, and leaders can develop lesson plans based on knowledge of who their students are.
While this model is tried and true, it is not without challenges. One of the biggest challenges in this model is that time is limited to engage all students. Students who need time to process might not be able to participate in activities or discussion or to ask questions in real time. With this model, you may have to be creative when it comes to figuring out students’ true thoughts.
On the other hand, this format is familiar to a variety of teachers and students, prompting rich discussion even while a teacher actively leads the lesson. This allows a teacher to easily hand over responsibility to a substitute if he or she cannot be there. If you’re interested in using this model of instruction, look at the Enduring Faith® Confirmation Curriculum as an option to use alongside Luther’s Small Catechism. The 30-Lesson Bible Overview, 30-Lesson Catechism Study, 60-Lesson Catechism Study, and 30-Lesson Apologetics Study provide student books and leader guides for internalizing God’s timeless truth.
Using a Flipped Classroom Model for Confirmation
The flipped classroom model prepares students to participate as the lesson moves along. Students come to class having watched or read parts of each lesson. During classroom time, they extend upon the topic, complete assignments, and do problem-solving work together.
Students come to confirmation with questions, and teachers have time to prepare answers they didn’t have in prior weeks. With this model, teachers spend less time introducing topics while students develop a practice of Scripture reading and understand that their questions belong in church. This allows leaders to partner with parents and gives students great agency in what they are learning.
Whenever students are asked to do something outside of class time, there is the potential that they simply won’t do the work. Unit check-ins can help keep students on track and enable the teacher to dialogue with families about faith formation at home.
With this flipped format for learning, leaders offer support and guidance as students work on content before class. This allows students to take an active role in their learning as they develop their own questions while working and allows them to demonstrate that they deeply know their stuff. This is a newer tool for instruction but one that could greatly benefit your students.
Guided by Truth: Enduring Faith® Confirmation Journal was written with flipped classrooms in mind. As students work at their own pace, in their own homes, on their own time through readings and questions, they come to deeply consider what they believe and why they trust it. When you purchase this item for your student or students, a unit check-in guide is also provided. With the unit check-ins, leaders can hold learners accountable and know whether they are truly understanding the content.
Your Unique Classroom
You know your students best. These models and curricula are not meant to be used without thought. You could choose to do one of these options, combine them, or use none of them at all (though you’ll probably find these incredibly helpful). Confirmation is an important step in the life of an individual. It is our hope that your confirmation students would know Jesus and confess the faith.
Find the best curriculum to guide your students through confirmation classes.