Thursday, December 9, 2010

See Dick and Jane learning in school...


A couple of articles in the past few day about the future of education are spot on - any parent of young children, teenagers, or college students (maybe) ought to pay attention. So should church leaders!

Dr. Tim Elmore, of, writes in "Left Brain Schools and Churches in a Right Brain World"

Based on our research, learning that sticks in the minds of students is connected to three elements:
  • A healthy, trusting relationship with the teacher
  • An interactive learning community
  • Creativity and innovation that stimulate the "right-brain.
Our Dilemma: Right-brained Students Must Attend Left-brained Schools

Let's discuss how education primarily takes place and why it fails to be effective. In the two columns below, I summarize how the information we teach is usually delivered to young people today:


Right brained thinkers
  Left brained delivery

Learn by uploading; expressing themselves
  Teach by downloading lectures

Experiential in nature
  Passive in nature

Music and art enables them to retain information
  Music and art classes cut

Desire to learn what is relevant to life
  Teach for the next test

Creativity drives them
  Curriculum drives them

Frightening. True.

And just as troubling: many of our church "learning" situations are the same.
Follow the link above to read the whole post; it should be a sobering wake up call that any leader - especially those in the church environment - should pay attention to.

In a post on "presentations" but very much on topic, Garr Reynolds writes in "The Need for Connection and Engagement in Education" about the differences between "just sitting there" and getting students "doing something." There's a great story about an 8 year old observing a college physics class that tells it all.
Follow the link above to the whole story, including a couple of video presentations on the topic.
What's the takeaway for ChurchWorld?
Dr. Elmore challenges church leaders to move beyond the left brain tendencies and engage in activities like the following:

  • Teaching must not merely supply information for students, but be an inspiration for students
  • Teaching must do more than measure a kids' memory; it must motivate a kid's imagination
  • Pastors must include not just the facts of the Bible but the heart and fruit its supposed to produce
  • Pastors should not be reduced to increasing intelligence (knowledge), but increasing innovation
  • Teaching cannot be only about what to think, but how to think
Pay attention students: class is starting...

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