Last weekend I attended a two-day Human-Etisk Forbund course for confirmation leaders and I would like to share some of the great things I learnt by writing up some of the talks.
There’s a lot more information about the humanist confirmation course here and here (if you read Norwegian). Confirmation course leaders range from those in their late teens/early twenties right up to those who have been retired for many years. Very few confirmation course leaders have teaching backgrounds and even fewer are philosophers or experts in ethics, but this does not matter as the emphasis is very much on Socratic questioning.
Confirmation course leaders are not ‘teachers’: they’re not there to pour their knowledge, ideas, ideologies and beliefs into the empty vessels of the confirmants’ minds, but to prompt the confirmants into exploring their own thinking and provide a scaffold for them to develop ideas about themselves and the world around them.
I’ve spoken about my admiration for the confirmation courses before and would like to become a proper confirmation course leader (if I could do it for a living, I would!), but my Norwegian isn’t quite good enough to discuss philosophy, ethics and the deeper mysteries of the universe with teenagers just yet. I was lucky enough to take part in a course last year, giving a one-off talk on how became a humanist, and now the lovely HEF people in my local municipality have organised for me to be a part of things as much as possible and help out on others’ courses as an assistant, so that I can see how things work.
The two-day course I attended was aimed at current and new confirmation leaders, with a mix of practical advice and exploration of some of the theoretical topics discussed on courses, like sexuality, life stances, religion and religious extremism, critical thinking, and the role of social media in modern society.
over the course of two days, so writing up the talks is as much about me digesting all the ideas as it is sharing them. I’ve split each talk into a separate post; this should make them easier to find and hopefully avoid me being the victim of tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) too.
I’ll be posting them over the course of the week, as and when I get to time to write them all up. The first two sessions were Åse Røthing on
and Cecilie Borborg with