Learning Tasks vs. Sharing Everything You Learned
Pastor Daniel Habben continues his series of articles that help us as we consider the question, How can we best reach adults with God’s Word in a Bible class setting? With a clear reminder of the blessings God’s people receive as they study his Word, this series of articles challenges all of us to take a serious look at the way we teach Bible class. Pastor Habben offers specific and practical suggestions for us to consider as we strive to become better communicators of God’s truth.

In his sixth article, Pastor Habben reminds us of the importance of giving adult students the opportunity to chew on the Word themselves, rather than us simply reporting all we know. 

Pastor Daniel Habben served St. Peter Lutheran Church in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, for 18 years. He recently accepted the call to serve St. John’s Lutheran Church on the island of Antigua. 

Pastor Habben came to love teaching when he tutored at Luther Prep School and is thankful for the feedback he received from his fellow tutors—especially from the Martin Luther College teacher grads! He was a presenter at the 2015 symposium on education at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Most of the materials in this series of articles are from that presentation.
They never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah. - Acts 5:42
Adult Education: Additum
Six Core Principles of Adult Learning

The Teaching Toolbox points to a book by Dr. Jane Vella, retired educator and founder of Global Learning Partners. Dr. Vella, who spent much of her career researching how to teach adults and then applying what she learned as she taught teachers how to teach, also designed the Dialogue Education™ method that was featured in an earlier Teach The Word series. (Issues 1.5-1.9— Click here to access past issues in the Full TTW Article Archive.)

In the following article, “6 Core Principles for Adult Learning,” Dr. Vella has boiled down the results of her worldwide research to six basic principles that we might well consider as we plan our adult education offerings. Two of the six, relevance and engagement, might be of special interest to us as we develop Bible classes for adult learners.

Teaching Toolbox
Jane Vella's Taking Learning to Task

Once upon a time, the majority of adult educators relied on lecture as the primary teaching method. The belief, however, that adults prefer lecture or learn well when the teaching method is strictly lecture is a fable. Though lecture is a necessary tool in every teacher’s toolbox, when used exclusively or as the primary teaching method, many adult learners lose interest. Even those who are able to sustain focus remember less. 

Jane Vella has been a pioneer in adult education. Based on her research as an educator in many different countries, she has found that a far more effective way to teach adults is through the use of learning tasks. Her book Taking Learning to Task is a classic in adult education methodology.

Curriculum Connection
God's People Discussion Guides

The God’s People Discussion Guides are brief Bible studies based on the following God’s People books: Abraham, David, Elijah, Esther, Joseph, Noah, Paul, Peter, and Ruth.

As Christians learn all that the Bible tells us about specific characters, they grow in their understanding of the historical setting and the biblical context surrounding the account of the person’s life. They also grow in their knowledge of God’s grace and how this person fit into God’s plan of salvation.

Each of the nine studies includes material for eight lessons. These studies are ideally suited for small groups but could easily be adapted for use with a regular Bible class.

Individual studies are available by download. The entire set is available on CD or as a downloadable product. Click on the links below for a sample lesson on Elijah.

Leader's Guide: PDF
Student Lesson: PDF | RTF

Teaching Tip

When you are concluding your presentation of a section of Scripture, ask real questions that guide the students to dig into the content of the section. Use "Does anyone have any questions?" only occasionally. 
  Teach the Word  is a collaboration of Northwestern Publishing House, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and WELS Adult Discipleship.