Tag Archives: learning

Experience and Learning

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

A couple of educators I know are high on what they call “experiential learning.” They try to be “creative” in the use of “interactive” learning methods in their teaching: skits, simulations, role-play, art activity, dramatizations, etc. Given the dearth of imagination in most teaching-learning experiences, I suppose this is a good thing, overall. But I also know that if I were one of their students, a steady diet of “creative experiential learning experiences: would quickly burn me out. Continue reading Experience and Learning

For the Bookshelf: How Learning Works

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

At a recent consultation with a university faculty, I was once again struck at how helpful it is to review “the basics” of the pedagogy of teaching and learning, and, of instruction in particular. In fact, it is not only helpful, but necessary. It remains true that too many who end up in front of a classroom never receive sufficient training in foundational teaching and learning principles and practices. For most, it often is a matter of years of trial-and-error of classroom teaching (with no little amount of frustration for both teacher and students) before becoming competent instructors. Even then, for those who do not intentionally make the study of teaching and learning part of their lifelong learning and professional development, learning “what works” in the classroom does not in and of itself result in understanding how learning happens. At worst, those teachers will be stuck with a narrow repertoire of diminishing effectiveness. Continue reading For the Bookshelf: How Learning Works

Thinking and Teaching

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Quick quiz: What philosopher said, “To think is easy, to act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.”?

Answer: None. I pulled that quote out of a fortune cookie after lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. Not bad for a fortune cookie!

I experienced an existential moment of synchronicity as just that morning I was reading some of the most influential thinkers in history in preparation for my philosophy course. I was reminded again about what deep thinkers those early philosopher were. Deep thinking leads to deep thoughts and powerful ideas. Those early thinkers continue to be influential: Continue reading Thinking and Teaching

For the Bookshelf: Fostering Faith

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

It remains indisputably true that the task of making disciples remains one of the primary purposes of the Church. Arguably, it is the Church’s PRIMARY purpose, for what else is the ultimate goal of evangelizing than to make disciples? Throughout its history the Church has answered this calling by engaging in education that is Christian. Meaning, practicing ways of teaching and learning that are authentically Christian. This is easier said than done. It’s not difficult to acquire effective ways of teaching and learning. We can rely on vast resources of the field of education and all its domains: pedagogy, andragogy, developmental psychology, instructional design, adult education, and the plethora of emerging instructional technologies. The challenge for congregations, however, is to answer the question, “What ways of teaching and learning are authentically Christian?”

Traditional congregational Christian education has seen neglect in the past decades. As congregations get smaller (75 is the average worship attendance in congregations today), as fewer professional Christian educators find places of ministry in congregations, and as seminaries scale back their Christian education degree programs, the consequences to the Church are on the cusp of being tragic. Continue reading For the Bookshelf: Fostering Faith

Six Educational Principles from Augustine of Hippo

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Augustine of Hippo was one of the foremost philosophers and theologians of early Christianity. He had a profound influence on the subsequent development of Western thought and culture and, more than any other person, shaped the themes and defined the problems that have characterized Western traditions of Christian theology. Augustine received a classical education that both schooled him in Latin literature and enabled him to escape from his provincial upbringing.

Trained at Carthage in rhetoric he became a teacher of rhetoric in Carthage, Rome, and finally in Milan. His subsequent career as priest and bishop was to be dominated by controversy and debate. Augustine’s influence on Christian education was formative. His work, Christian Education, provided a manual of instruction for Christian teachers, both clergy and lay. It provided a philosophical base for interpreting the Scripture and gave techniques for teaching. It was a work of considerable pedagogical importance, and it remained a classic for Christian educators for centuries. Continue reading Six Educational Principles from Augustine of Hippo