TED Talk: Sparking Learning

Aside

Ramsey Musallam, a chemistry teacher, explores how to spark learning and tells us that the greatest tool a teacher has is the questions their students have. As teachers we must not focus on content dissemination. Instead we must cultivate curiosity in our students by challenging them and getting their imagination going so that they ask questions and want to explore and interact with what we are trying to teach them.

This principle reminded me of Law of Need in the book 7 Laws of the Learner by Bruce Wilkinson. It is important to build a need in the student and motivate them to want to learn what you are about to teach them. As a teacher your goal is to make them want to know the answer to the questions you just got them to think about, before moving on to teaching them the content.

Here are three good ways to do that:

  1. Understand what students are facing in their life and what their pressing needs are. Make sure topics are focused on these areas.
  2. Get them to identify with a need (maybe even one they didn’t know they had) using challenging questions or presenting them with illustrations of people who have or don’t have what you are about to teach.
  3. Don’t just “talk at” students, get them involved in the learning process.

What are the responsibilities of a deacon?

Photo by Mike Morbeck (originally posted to Flickr as Eli Manning) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In the NFL it is important for every player to know their role and responsibilities on each and every play. What route to run, what to do when the defense blitzes, which direction to break when the QB throws the ball. A play will rarely work out when players are not on the same page.

Sometimes it is good to go back to the basics and make sure that everyone is on the same page and understands the goals of the team. This is true in the church as in any area of life. And this can be done when things are going well or when they are not running smoothly.

I recently took a look at what the Scriptures taught regarding the role of the deacon. Continue reading