As a student of education for many years, I have seen trends come and go. In 2007, I completed my doctorate in Christian education. At the time, there was a significant emphasis on creative methods of instruction. For decades, it has become more and more clear that not everyone learns the same way.
Of course, as with many modern “insights,” the principles have been around for a long time. For example, there is a foundational passage of Scripture, part of which became a daily prayer in ancient Israelite tradition, Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
As you can see from this text, Scripture is to be a part of our daily lives in ways that connect with a variety of learners. These principles are to be integrated into our walking, and our talking, and even written as reminders around our homes. I have applied this teaching by posting Scriptures on our washroom wall. As we brush our teeth, wash, etc., Kimberly and I see these inspirational reminders. These truths are becoming embedded into our daily lives.
One timeless principle here is that people learn in different ways. Some people can read something and easily memorize it. Others need to be reminded of these principles while they work or walk. Others learn best through hearty discussions.
Clearly, it is important to be aware of our own learning styles, and to be sensitive to others’. It is good for teachers to adapt our instruction to the needs of our learners. This is not as much about the content as it is about the delivery. Creative methodology matters.
Hope Haven Rwanda has been gifted with an expert in these principles in our Director of Studies, Nsengumuremyi Emmanuel. As an experienced teacher himself, Emmanuel was asked to mentor other teachers. He quickly emerged as a leader, and we were honored to hire him in 2020. Now, he serves alongside Fred Karangwa, our Headmaster, and our faculty, to ensure that Hope Haven students continue their track record of scholastic success. And he just happens to be an expert in learner-centered methodologies.
I really appreciate Emmanuel’s commitment to help our students flourish—academically and spiritually! He is exactly the type of leader that God continues to bring to our team and we couldn’t be more grateful.
How are you engaging with Scripture? Are you sharing it with others? Let’s be more intentional about being learner-centered in our methodology so that we can help the people God has called us to serve in ways that will help them experience lasting spiritual growth!