the expanded vision of the role of the tutor by etssetcf


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									The Expanded Vision of the Role of the Tutor
Prepared for the Cluster Coordinators Gathering, Birmingham, 20th May 06

Our understanding of the depth, scope and influence of a tutor’s work has recently been expanded by the learning shared in the 27 th Dec letter. Conveying this expanded vision to the tutors in our areas is crucial to inspire them and for them to realise what they can achieve as teachers of the Faith and nurturers of seekers. 1) Please begin by studying the following extract from the 27 th Dec 05 letter form the Universal House of Justice to the Counsellors:
Most noteworthy in this regard is the spirit of initiative shown by believers who extend the range of their endeavours to assist others also striving to tread a path of service. Having acquired the capacity to serve as tutors of institute courses, they take up the challenge of accompanying participants in their initial attempts to perform acts of service until they, too, are ready to start their own study circles and help others do the same, widening in this way the scope of the institute's influence and bringing eager souls into contact with the Word of God. This particular aspect of the institute process, which serves to multiply the number of active supporters of the Faith in a self-perpetuating manner, holds much promise, and we hope that its potential will be realized in the coming Plan. "Let him not be content", are the words of the Guardian referring to every teacher of the Cause, "until he has infused into his spiritual child so deep a longing as to impel him to arise independently, in his turn, and devote his energies to the quickening of other souls, and the upholding of the laws and principles laid down by his newly adopted Faith.”

What, according to the Universal House of Justice, is now the role and scope of the tutor?

2) The following is a comment made by an International Teaching Centre member when explaining the above paragraph: “Before we thought of them [tutors] as people who conducted the courses. Now we see them a s the axis of a self-perpetuating system, someone who accompanies the participants through the whole experience of embracing Baha’u’llah and being trained to become a tutor themselves. The job of the tutor is not done until they have ensured that. To strengthen the teaching work is to strengthen and improve the quality of the Institute process and that comes down to the tutor.”
Does this new understanding of the role of the tutor change your work with them? Comment on the provision by the cluster coordinator of on-going training and support of tutors.


3) Another extract from the 27 th Dec letter:
Equipped with skills and methods, effective and accessible to all … Increased experience enables them to adapt their presentation to the seeker’s needs, employing direct teaching methods that draw on the Writings to offer the message in a manner both forthcoming and inviting.

Through their training in the sequence of courses, tutors are now able to carry out a number of activities which contribute to community development and growth, such as presenting deepening themes, telling stories about Abdu’l-Baha, and so on. List some of these activities.

Discuss how a tutor could use these activities in parallel to conducting a study circle with seekers to complement their efforts to teach their non-Baha’i participants.

4) Read and discuss what you learn from the diagram presented on page 5 of Reflections on Growth no.8. 5) Read and discuss what you learn from the story presented on Page 3 of Reflections on Growth no.8, ‘A Little Community on the Move’. 6) Finally, share any experiences you have had, or heard of, of tutors having a significant influence on the community around them by first building up a community of interest and then assisting people to embrace the Faith and become tutors themselves.


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