THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF DISCOVERY
John Milton Gregory's classic book, The Seven Laws of Teaching, should be thoroughly digested by every aspiring teacher. Bruce Wilkinson, excellent communicator and founder of "Walk Through the Bible," reads this little book once a year.
One of Gregory's laws is "The Law of Teaching": "Excite and direct the self-activities of the pupil, and as a rule tell him nothing that he can learn himself." (p. 84) "As a rule" means that there are exceptions, such as the situations that require covering a large body of material in a small amount of time. But keep this important rule in mind as you prepare to teach. Whenever possible, have youth read Scriptures themselves and try to apply them to the topic at hand.
- Students realize that they can understand and apply the Scriptures for themselves.
- When students draw out the meaning of a Scripture for themselves, they more clearly sense the authority of the Word, not just the interpretation of their teacher.
- Students tend to understand and internalize principles better when they discover rather than merely hear.
- A mid-lesson discussion can interrupt the daydreams that compete for their attention.
Ways to Promote Self Discovery
- Delay giving away the next point in your outline until the students have looked up the passage, read it, and tried to draw out the point for themselves.
- Use activities such as brainstorming in small groups and reporting back what they�ve learned to the entire group.
- Describe a counseling situation, and ask the youth how they would counsel the person.
- Ask perceptive, open-ended questions, the kind that can�t be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." The more we can get students involved with the lesson, the more they will understand and remember.
- A well done skit, or well picked movie clip or song, followed up with perceptive questions, can often help students discover truth from a different angle.
- Give assignments, such as devotionals on the subject, a book to read, asking parents or friends for input, researching on the internet.