TEE stands for ‘Theological Education by Extension’. But there are many possible methods of extension education, so let’s explain the particular method that is used in the SEAN (Study by Extension for All Nations) and OHEC (Oak Hill Extension College) courses that Mongolia TEE uses:
The picture below provides a way of explaining the components of the TEE study method and their relation.
A railway track is comprised of two rails, and a number of sleepers, or ties, that hold the rails in place. In the same way that, were one or other of these components to be missing or damaged, a train could not go far along the railway track, if one or other of the elements of the TEE method is missing or poorly done, the students will not go far! The courses are designed to give the greatest benefit when all three study components are utilized. The railway track illustration makes the connection between the three elements very clearly.
1. Home Study—the first of the tracks of the railway track
Although each course is studied in a group, every member of the group has a course study book, which is studied individually. This home study gives the student the opportunity to master new material in preparation for a weekly group discussion meeting. All our courses are Bible based, and there will be Bible verses or passages to read, questions to consider, multiple choice questions to answer and so on. Some group members may take much longer than others to complete the week’s home study, but as long as everyone has done so before the group meeting, and is ready to participate in the discussion, that is not important.
2. Group Meetings
The weekly group meeting is led by a tutor. First, there is checking of the weekly tests that are part of the home study, and opportunity for clarification of questions and difficulties. Then students learn from each other as they participate in a discussion based on the home study learning. A Tutor’s Handbook gives guidelines for each group meeting, and helps the tutor to use the time most effectively. The role of the tutor is not to impart new information – that has already happened during the home study. Rather, the tutor helps students to explore the materials, and asks questions to stimulate thinking and discussion about how the material is relevant and can be applied to the students’ everyday lives.
3. Practical Application
The purpose of the training program is that under the guidance of the tutor, students should put into practice what they are learning in the family, at work, in the community and at church. Courses have a range of structured practical assignments, sometimes for individuals, and sometimes for the whole group.This combination of home study, group meetings and practical application is designed to encourage all round growth and greater integration into the life and ministry of the local church.