The North American Division Youth Ministries Department is pleased to offer a new curriculum for Pathfinders to complete as part of their Pathfinder Club experience.
For the last several years a committee of Pathfinder leaders has been working on assessing the AY Classwork curriculum that was developed in 1987-88. That curriculum has served us well but more and more club leaders were asking for something that would connect with our 21st century Pathfinders. After surveying local club staff, area coordinators and conference leaders the following themes surfaced:
- There is too much reading
- Require memorization that is manageable
- Clubs must be able to complete the curriculum within a Pathfinder year
- Updated resources for leaders and instructors must be provided
- Curriculum must make it clear what outcome we want to achieve (more than just doing the requirement)
- Completing requirements should be hands-on rather than writing and reading
- Advanced requirements should be interesting and inviting
Based on these recommendations and with the guidance of an educational specialist the task force reviewed each of the requirements to make sure they aligned with our curriculum objectives, educational practices and Pathfinder ministry goals. During this process there was special focus given to age appropriate requirements and to creating a series of requirements that was sequenced from year to year, allowing the Pathfinder to build on the skills they had previously learned.
The Investiture Achievement requirements are divided into eight sections. Requirements can be met in a variety of ways based on the way the individual Pathfinder learns best. Each year that a Pathfinder is Invested and advances to the next level the sections remain the same as the previous year. However, the activities to fulfill the requirements change, in order to allow each Pathfinder the opportunities to participate in new experiences and challenges and to practice skills and information previously learned.
This Investiture Achievement curriculum moves from a focus on completing requirements (although Pathfinders will complete requirements) to creating a learning environment. For successful implementation directors, instructors and all Pathfinder staff must:
- Inspire and motivate learners.
- Emphasize quality, not quantity, of learning.
- Build on knowledge that has been gained in earlier levels.
- Allocate time to practice new concepts and skills.
- Aim for understanding rather than memorization.
- Consider developmental and individual abilities of each Pathfinder.
- Employ effective and flexible strategies to aid learning.
- Use meaningful activities that utilize learning strategies..
In 2009 the Pathfinder Committee voted to accept the requirements presented as the framework for a new curriculum. Over the next 12 months clubs from across the North American Division piloted the curriculum and gave their feedback to the task force. Based on the feedback received final changes were made and the Pathfinder Committee voted in March, 2011 to implement this Investiture Achievement curriculum Division-wide in the Fall of 2011.