Communication: Teaching and Learning

I’ve been thinking about learning and teaching.

Some observations about learning and teaching in the church.

Teachers tend to think about sharing what they have learned.

Student tend to think about interacting with what they have learned and what the teacher knows.

Teachers tend to think about what they want to teach.

Student tend to think about what they need to know.

So . . .

Questions teachers should ask:

  • What am I learning?  How is God working in my heart?
  • What are my students dealing with in their daily lives?
  • What do my students need to learn or be confronted with?
  • What do my students need to unlearn?
  • What foundational truths do I need to help my students understand, believe and include in their worldview?
  • What primary truth do I want my students to learn today?
  • Why should they know what I want to share?
  • What is the next thing they should learn?
  • What should I not include in this lesson in order truly make the primary point stick?

Questions students should ask

  • Am I taking responsibility for my own learning?
    First learn for yourself–seek to be a self-feeder on the Word of God.  If you know the passage that is going to be taught, read it ahead of time, record observations.
  • How can I share what I am learning with others?
    You may not be a teacher–but think of yourself as a teacher.   This will help increase your retention and application of the truth.
  • Do I have a humble learner’s spirit?
    You are not the teacher–so don’t feel the need to correct every area of disagreement with the teacher.

(From the blog Miscellanies)

“I have a conviction that no sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as a crystal. I find the getting of that sentence is the hardest, the most exacting, and the most fruitful labour in my study. To compel oneself to fashion that sentence, to dismiss every word that is vague, ragged, ambiguous, to think oneself through to a form of words which defines the theme with scrupulous exactness–this is surely one of the most vital and essential factors in the making of a sermon: and I do not think any sermon ought to be preached or even written, until that sentence has emerged, clear and lucid as a cloudless moon.”

–J. H. Jowett, The Preacher: His Life and Work (Harper & Bros, 1912), p. 133.

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