Ideas on How to Teach Christian Ideas

 

Teachers: This essay should be read after you have read the essay titled:
"Who Controls YOU? You or Other People?"
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A Poor Approach

A mistake in teaching Christian Concepts

A Better Approach

.

Teaching Concepts

Brief outline of the steps.

A Teaching Mindset

Be ready to find "Teachable Moments"

Warning! Be Prepared

The Boy Scout motto applies: "Be Prepared"

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Christian Teaching Materials: Contents - - - Teaching Christian Attitudes: Contents
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A Poor Approach

We adults tend to forget that children very often cannot make the same mental leaps we do. Adults with a long and solid study of Christian beliefs have had the ability and time to develop deeper understanding of the teachings. What seems easy and obvious to us can be completely obscure to kids.

Christian teachings are often given to kids as very abbreviated global concepts, often in the form of a bible verse or admonition about what to do, or not to do. The meaning to us may be obvious. But the young learner is not equipped to see the deep meanings. The teachings are simply memorized, but not locked in by understanding. Also, because our teachings are too often very global general ideas, their application to the here-and-now-in-this-situation escapes the learner.

Without a good understanding of the underlying principles of Christian teachings and without tying them into one's self-interest and Life-Goals, the Christian teachings are superficial. Being superficial, they are easily subverted by anti-Christian ideas. Thus, the person is more likely to fall away from the faith when confronted with the seductive temptations and arguments that will be encountered during the high school and college years, or later.

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A Better Approach

In the conversation I have given in the other essay, I first met Gena where she was, so that I could then guide her to where she needed to be! - - - See the essay, "Important Teaching Concepts," the paragraph titled Meet Them Where They Are ...

I investigated Gena's life goal. Did she want to be like Susan? NO! In other words, what was Gena's enlightened self-interest here? (Basically, it was to NOT be like Susan.) I was just bringing it clearly and succinctly into her consciousness.

I tried to impart some understanding at her level of what was going on. This is important! Once a person understands the mechanisms at work, it become much easier to figure out and apply changes to your own behavior.

Once Gena understood that if she returned the abuse, that Susan had won and she had lost, there was a flash of understanding. At that point I knew that Gena was over the hump. With that understanding, then my advice of turning and walking away would be much easier for her to do. Adding the realization that Susan should be pitied, Susan shifted from a position of power to a position of pity.

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Teaching Concepts

Bible verses by themselves are not enough. Even bible verses with a degree of explanation are not enough. To teach Christian precepts, it is best to:

  1. Start with a specific, here-and-now real event the student is experiencing or has experienced. (Meet the student where he is, so that you can guide him to where he needs to be! This is a fundamental tenant of teaching!)
  2. Explain the mechanism at play in the situation. The social dynamic.
  3. Explore the student's enlightened self-interest in that situation. Expand his self-interest, if needed. Then succinctly state his self-interest. He needs to see it clearly.
  4. Provide a way to handle the situation. That is what should he do or not do, and why.
  5. Take that discussion, and use it to explore the Christian concept or teaching. Explain the Christian idea.
  6. Point out the Christian idea is a generalized idea, which can be extended to many situations.
  7. Indicate that the Global or general idea can be used to guide one to how to handle specific here-and-now situations.
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A Teaching Mindset

If you are a teacher in a Christian school, try this.

Tune your mind to be alert for the social and ethical difficulties kids get into. When you find one, treat it as a teaching opportunity, either for that individual student, or for a class.

Keep your eye on the news, and on TV programs or movies, looking for teaching opportunities that could help your kids. Tell them about it, and use it in class. As Christian educators, consider that a good, solid, real-world, and effective lesson on morels, ethics, or Christian ideas is worth a little lost time in some other subject.

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Warning! Be Prepared

Sometimes it is difficult to quickly know how to teach these lessons. Sometimes we ourselves are not really clear on the underlying principles involved. Remember that we ourselves are probably the products of incomplete teachings about Christianity and its philosophy. We may have holes in our own understanding!

My best advice is the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared." In the process listed below, keep your perspective in the child's mind, but apply your adult knowledge base. At odd moments, think about:

Suggestion: Write out your thoughts. Have a school-wide database of these. Use them like lesson plans.


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Christian Teaching Materials: Contents - - - Teaching Christian Attitudes: Contents
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