In the past, all schooling took place in rows. People believed that the teacher had all the knowledge, and that sitting and listening was the best way to learn. We’ve realized since then that simply isn’t true. Kindergarten teachers, school teachers and university lecturers now know that people need to be actively involved in the learning process, otherwise they switch off and don’t learn much at all. Active learning is better than passive listening. All around the world, teachers are exploring better ways to help students be involved in the learning process. They are exploring hands-on learning, discovery learning, collaborative learning and reflective learning techniques in the classroom.
What about in church? Well, church members don’t get graded after listening to sermons, so churches aren’t moving so quickly to find better ways to teach. There is an urgency in the education system to rethink teaching methods as the world changes around us. In the church, not so much. Sermons are still considered as the most effective way to impart information, even by many of the “missional” church models.
“Mindshift: how we will learn” is a great education blog that shares innovations in the education sector. Many of these are applicable in the church context. When churches start getting creative with teaching methods, we will start to see God’s people increasingly empowered, and reduce the clergy/laity divide.