Five Things With Another Veteran Pastor
This month we continue our series of articles entitled “Five Things.” Each month, we interview a practitioner of Christian adult education to learn about their educational philosophy, books they’ve read, advice they’d give to other educators, and their perspectives on teaching the Word. This month features Pastor Daniel Schroeder, who serves St. Peter Lutheran Church in Modesto, California.

Pastor Daniel Schroeder has served at pastor at St. Peter, Modesto, California, since 2016. Prior to that, he served congregations in Wisconsin and California, as well as a stint as Bible Study Editor at Northwestern Publishing House. He was also the editor of the Teach the Word newsletter before "retiring" in early 2021. Dan and his wife Linka have five children, several sons and daughters in law, and two (soon to be three!) grandchildren.

They never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. Acts 5:42
Adult Education: Additum
Start With the End

Pastor Schroeder reminded us of the importance of learning objectives as we design our Bible studies. Regarding APSBAT (All Participants Shall Be Able To …) he said that completing this sentence and having this in mind when designing a Bible study has helped me to be more focused on what I’d like a lesson to accomplish. It takes time to develop what this will be for each lesson and narrow it down, but it is so helpful in guiding the learning activities of the lesson.

Perhaps we find ourselves sitting down to write a Bible study and thinking “Ok, what can I say about this topic this time?” (Which is generally the equivalent of “How can I fill 60 minutes of time in a productive way?”) Adult learners, however, want to know why they’re there and what they will know after class that they didn’t know before. Taking the time to design and communicate thoughtful learning objectives will help all participants see the goals of the lesson and the roadmap that will be used to arrive there.  

If you’d like to dig deeper into writing more effective learning objectives, check out this link. 
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Teaching Toolbox
4Ms of Learning Objectives

Doug Lemov in his book "Teach Like a Champion" outlines four best practices when it comes to designing and evaluating our learning objectives. His 4Ms are summarized and adapted for our context in this infographic.

Curriculum Connection

Pastor Schroeder writes of his Reformation: Grace, Faith, Scripture Bible study, "If someone is looking for a Reformation-themed Bible study for the fall or the month of October, this flexible study could help. Although it has 12 lessons, it is divided into 3 parts (4 lessons in each part), if someone would like a shorter study or to break it up. The study has brief videos, uses learning activities to engage with the Scriptures and quotes from Martin Luther, and gives a suggestion of what the learners can put into practice during the week."

Teaching Tip
Post It

One more simple (but oh so smart!) bit of advice from Doug Lemov on learning objectives:

Once your objective is complete, POST IT in a visible location in your roomthe same location every dayso everyone who walks into the room, your students as well as peers and administrators, can identify your purpose for teaching that day in as plain English as possible.

- Doug Lemov, Teach Like a Champion
Click here to learn about NPH's latest Bible study for Reformation, Here We Stand: The Legacy of Worms, 500 Years Later, now available for preorder.
 Teach the Word is a collaboration of Northwestern Publishing House,
Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and WELS Discipleship.