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Your Belief System and Your Church (16): Real and Lasting Learning

I mentioned in previous sections that learning is related to hearing, seeing, and doing. Let us consider these three categories a little more.

AURAL. First is the aural (hearing). Churches, for centuries, have taught the Scriptures aurally. We have a verse that verifies aural preaching, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” Presentations in lecture style were prevalent in the 1800s and before. Large crowds attended them. However, in present society, aural learners are now in the minority. Perhaps the advents of visual television and computers have had some influence.

VISUAL. Second is the visual (seeing). We know that 80% of us are visual learners. It seems that presently, sight is the most powerful learning receptor. We know from research that when additional learning senses are engaged, the more we learn and remember. Centuries ago salvation was told in sermons while church members gazed at stained glass windows picturing the same as they were hearing. Presently, sermon points that are accompanied with video projection presentations are more easily learned and placed into long-term memory.

KINESTHETIC. Third is kinesthetic for the person who says, “Let me get my hands on that. If I do it once, I’ve got it!” Kinesthetic and aural learners comprise the remaining 20% of learners. Ultimate learning happens through simultaneous seeing, hearing, and doing, which is generally the same as engaging the senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. Adding kinesthetic to aural and visual makes learning very powerful and effective. With all receptors engaged, we are experiencing certain degrees of repetition through different stimuli.

JESUS’ MODEL. Jesus engaged all three learning receptors by verbally explaining Gospel truths in God stories known as parables (aural), by modeling exactly what He wanted them to do (visual), and then sending them out in pairs to minister (kinesthetic). Jesus’ example is a three-stage, sequence model, which is one that all churches and ministries need to copy.

OVERLAPPING LEARNING CYCLE. One very important teaching process that insures lasting learning is repetition. But repetition must done in a skillful way to promote learning interest instead of boredom. All of my music classes were structured in three parts: Familiar, New, and Review. (1) I began each class with familiar songs and materials that were taught before. This created a very comfortable atmosphere with no stress or pressure. Through performing and questions, I brought back to the students’ memories anything that was forgotten. (2) From within the familiar materials, I drew out the new that needed to be learned. We learned new songs, skills, and activities connected to something they learned before. We practiced the new until it became easy and comfortable. (3) The end of each class was a review (assessment) of the new to be sure their learning was successful. The review was always some creative display of applying what was learned in the new section. (This is called inferential application, which is explained later in KCAASE and Proverbs 24.) Every following lesson used this same three-part overlapping structure. This guaranteed well-learned skills and long-term memory.

Pastor, what is the primary mode of teaching (aural, visual, kinesthetic) in your church? If it is only aural, do you realize you engaging less than 20% of your learners? How will you change your sermon presentation style to engage all receptors of learning? How will you have your members follow Jesus’ sequence model? Have you considered organizing your music worship time and your sermons with the three-part overlapping teaching structure?

Your Belief System and Your Church: (1) Introduction

Your Belief System and Your Church: (2) Your Paradigms

Your Belief System and Your Church: (3) Bondage or Freedom

Your Belief System and Your Church: (4) Gateway Skills

Your Belief System and Your Church: (5) Teacher Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (6) Talking About vs. Doing

Your Belief System and Your Church: (7) Student Accountability

Your Belief System and Your Church: (8) Assessment

Your Belief System and Your Church: (9) Bury Dead Tradition

Your Belief System and Your Church: (10) Teaching vs. Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (11) Teachers' Three Phases

Your Belief System and Your Church: (12) Excellence is NOT a Goal

Your Belief System and Your Church: (13) My Teaching Limits Were Their Learning Limits

Your Belief System and Your Church: (14) Unlearning Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (15) Pioneers vs. Settlers

Your Belief System and Your Church: (16) Real and Lasting Learning

Your Belief System and Your Church: (17) Problems With Memory

Your Belief System and Your Church: (18) Ownership Creates Success

Your Belief System and Your Church: (19) Not Perfect, But Honest

Your Belief System and Your Church: (20) Take Risks and Give Away Control

Your Belief System and Your Church: (21) Out of a Job

Your Belief System and Your Church: (22) KCAASE and Proverbs 24

Your Belief System and Your Church: (23) Responding vs. Reacting

Your Belief System and Your Church: (24) Only When Performed

Your Belief System and Your Church: (25) A Supervisor's Vision

Your Belief System and Your Church: (26) Glimpses Into the Spiritual

Your Belief System and Your Church: (27) One Reason Alone

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Ok lets look at the story thing a little more. Looks like you and I got to the same place with the story idea so your lead up was good. We used to have a story teller's festival on campus. These folks were so good at telling stories that they had national recognition.
I suspect that during Jesus' time most information was comunicated verbally and received aurally. Stories make it go down better. So what's a good story teller do.

1) He relates it in terms I can understand. EX talk to farmers with farming terms and farming comparisons. Talk to mechanics with mechanical terms, even if you barely understand them. Mention cows to a dairy man or engines to a mechanic and you have his attention! Keep talking cows or engines and you keep his attention! Oh and the fellow will correct you if you use the terms incorrectly. Enough of this and you will understand. Believe me I grew up with a mechanic around! Thus the parable.

2) The story teller is animated. He doesn't just sit there. He changes his tone of voice, where he is sitting,
act out the characters parts, simply move to a different seat, or use props . As an audience my attention is on the story teller because I want to see what he does next. I am now engaged, aurally and visually.

3) The story teller may ask the audience to help. That is kenisthetic. So is making them turn thier heads to follow his movements.
Don't you just love the way Jesus was the master story teller--He could rig a story so well that only certain people understood it--sometimes. Even the disciples at times were fairly unperceptive.
Blessings, Dave
Dave,
Thought I would pick up on your comments regarding aural vs. visual learning. I think that TV does affect our ability to learn aurally. You see I grew up without a TV. Well ok we went to my grandma's house nearby and watched her TV sometimes. Back to the topic. I had to receive information and instruction by hearing because that was all there was until I was old enough to read. Sure I could look at the things around me and I played with the usual blocks. I had to ask and understand what was said in order to learn about most things. That is I relied on hearing when I wasn't instructed to watch and find out. Watch and find out requires far more observation thatn we normally use when watching TV. I think TV teaches us to get information from quick glances at visual images. Sound is available but we often don't have to hear all that is said in order to understand of what is happening. TV normally does not require us to retain the things that we see and hear. In an environment where most communication and instruction is heard, we not only have to pay attention to sound, we have to retain what we hear. I recently read a book which commented that same age Amish children could learn more information, more easily than many secular students. I wonder if that is because Amish children grow up relying on thier hearing in order to receive and follow instruction?
I suspect you are correct regarding your aural / visual observations. You're right in that TV doesn't require us to remember or understand. TV operates a brain-washing procedure for having your life be instantaneously reactionary instead of thought-provoking and intellectual.

I think your comment on Amish children is the same for all Asian children, in that they are better learners and thinkers. There is a huge difference between teaching and learning. Learning doesn't automatically happen in the presence of teaching. The two are distinctly different. Teaching has to be masterful and correct according to learning sequences (the subject matter and its presentation), and students have to be taught how to learn. Too many teachers neglect teaching students how to learn.
Ok. Let's say you have a Musice Ed student who is struggling. You realize that somehow they made it this far without knowing how to learn. What would you tell/teach them? Especially how would you direct to learn the things that cannot be immediately practiced. For example, they need to answer need to explain some theory in an essay question.
Your question actually has two parts to it. You begin mentioning music skills and then end with theory in an essay.

First the music skill part--your question applies to the brain intelligence of artistry. While you teach them music curriculum for where the music ed student should be, you also know with keen awareness all the things you have to do to catch him/her up from their neglected past. The basics are first--how to perform a steady beat and how to sing in tune. You match your remedial approach to their age to make it appropriate. You don't enact on middle school, senior high, or adults that same as you do with preschool and elementary students. Then you choose simple songs appropriate to their age brackets to have them practice the beginner skills. Begin with songs that have small ranges and notes that are not difficult to sing one after the other. Expand this small success into larger successes, step-by-step, line-upon-line, and precept-upon-precept, just like Scripture says.

For the essay / theory part, your question applies to another part of the brain--the cognitive (understanding). One cannot understand or have "music appreciation" in the cognitive unless one has a complete handle on the skills. It is through having a practiced set of skills that we connect to the understanding.
Dave, I think I wrote the question poorly. I was asking what would you do to teach someone how to learn? Ie what things would you suggest they do while studying independently?
What would I do to teach someone how to learn? I'm not sure. I have observed that kids these days have little to no curiosity to learn. I attribute this to damaged emotions stemming from dysfunctional family relationships. They need intense emotional healing through Divine intervention, SOZO healings, or traditional Christian counseling. In other words, I don't know how I would "teach" learning.

For getting students to work independently, there is a step by step process. (1) Being certain that a student has full understanding of what they are learning, (2) ask him or her to demonstrate that understanding for you. Then (3) give him or her a similar task to do like they just demonstrated, and tell them you'll be back to their desk in three minutes to see if they did it. Very carefully, guide the student into larger tasks and longer lengths of time that they must work on their own. Always specify a certain quality level and certain time length and hold them to it. In this manner, they learn independency.
Ah.... so mostly you give them a bit of guidance leading to confidence and then you encourage them to try it and use their curiosity a bit. Could it be that our over extended, often driven lifestyle with organized play dicourages the use of ones own curiosity? Family chaos certainly does not help...all their energy is wound up in surviving the storm. Think Sozo probably more useful after the storm than in the midst.
Lisa

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