5.4 Facilitating the Gathering
Service missionaries oversee all gatherings associated with academic and religion courses, and local institute personnel facilitate and/or delegate gathering logistics associated with institute courses.
Gatherings are facilitated by “lead students,” who guide class discussion and work to achieve specific learning outcomes. Institute classes are taught by institute- or stake-appointed instructors and are managed by the local institute. Materials and training for institute courses are provided by the local institute director.
For gatherings, service missionaries should:
- Open and conclude the gathering (including hymns and prayers)
- Turn the majority of class time to the lead student
- Ensure gatherings are conducted entirely in English
- Oversee and train lead students
- Respond to student questions and/or concerns
In PathwayConnect, a method has been developed that gives most students opportunities to lead. At least once during PathwayConnect, each member of the group should serve as a “lead student.” In large PathwayConnect groups, two students may be paired up to act as lead students together. Rather than a lecture-based educational process, lead students are directed to engage fellow classmates in discussion and learning activities — encouraging all students to participate in the learning environment.
- Age 18–30 groups: Minimum of one lead student each week for PathwayConnect academic gatherings. (Institute courses are facilitated by institute personnel or stake-appointed instructors.)
- Age 31 and over groups: Minimum of two lead students each week — one for PathwayConnect academic gatherings, and one for PathwayConnect religion gatherings.
When possible, missionaries should invite an exemplary PathwayConnect graduate to act as the lead student for the first academic gathering of a brand-new PathwayConnect group. The same process should also be followed for the first religion gathering of a brand-new group (only applicable to age 31+ Standard-version groups). When this is not possible, a missionary may lead the gathering.
Pathway missionaries greatly influence the culture that develops in a gathering. The expectations, routines, communication style, and interactions that missionaries establish powerfully shape the class culture. Although the culture can develop and change over the course of a student’s involvement in PathwayConnect, the opportunity to influence that development decreases as the year progresses. Therefore, missionaries should ensure that a student’s first impressions and experiences reflect the desired culture.
In creating a proper culture, missionaries should:
- Read and thoroughly understand the Gathering Guide
- Be a model: in dress, in word, in action
- Help students accept and embrace responsibility for their own learning
- Establish clear expectations and accountability for student preparation
- Ensure classroom experiences maximize active student participation
- Model the principles contained in the CES Honor Code.