“One danger teachers face is the constant temptation to offer excuses for lack of variety in teaching methodology.” Kenneth Gangel, Chairman of Christian Education Department, Dallas Theological Seminary.
· Lecture is a valuable method of instruction; however, the focus should be on the comprehension of knowledge, not the impartation of knowledge.
· Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of imparting knowledge and was a favorite of Jesus Christ.
· Role playing can be used with any age group and is effective for students thinking through the consequences of theories and beliefs.
· Inductive Bible study encourages the student to search the Scriptures for answers or explanations, as opposed to just being given the relevant Scriptures.
· Discussion may seem unproductive, because few notes are being taken. However, utilized by a teacher who knows where he or she wants the discussion to go, it can be a powerful tool for interaction.
· The Socratic method has never failed in more than two thousand years. They key is letting students know that they will be questioned over certain material and their answers will be graded.
· Small groups are very effective with adults and allow the students to present their group’s results. Small groups are more active, whereas lecture is more passive.
· Debates and panel discussion add variety and encourage the student to come to class prepared; therefore, the discussion is more lively and informed.
· Projects and research should have clearly defined objectives. The more structure research has, the more a student will benefit. These are valuable learning experiences, not just assignments.
· Music, art, literature, and movies communicate truth on a variety of levels, because not every student learns the same way.
· Field trips are encouraged. Here again, they key to success is structure and purpose. If students are not sure why they are going on a field trip, they will not learn much.
· Case studies are valuable for applying theory to practice. Colleges tend to rely too heavily on theory, and not enough on practices.
· Failure is obviously not desirable, but sometimes our compassion prevents the student from learning a valuable lesson. The tendency is to give curves, extra-credit, and extended deadlines out of compassion. However, a good teacher can use poor marks to teach a student about hard work and taking responsibility.
Gangel, Kenneth. 24 Ways To Improve Your Teaching. Victor Books: Colorado Springs, CO, 1974.
Drafted on: Source: 2014-2015 Faculty Handbook, section 7.04.6