Effective Teaching

This week I have found myself in several discussions focusing on effective teaching. These conversations drove me back to a work by William R. Yount entitled Called to Teach: An Introduction to the Ministry of Teaching. This work focuses on (1) The teacher as Dynamic Synergist (2) The Teacher as Instructor (3) The Teacher as Educational Manager and (4) The Teacher as “Minister”.

In this work Dr. Yount points out that there are three systems of learning. He calls these the collection of these “The Teachers’ Triad”. Individually they include (1) The Thinking Circle (2) The Feeling Circle and (3) The Doing Circle. I often refer to them as (1) The Cognitive Domain (2) The Affective Domain and (3) The Psychomotor Domain. Others refer to the triad as Know, Be, Do or Head, Heart and Hands. Not matter what you call this teaching triad; they form the basis of effective teaching. In almost 35 years of educational ministry I have observed that most teachers tend to focus on one individual area of the triad. Some highlight knowing, others being or doing. The problem is that highlighting only one area of the triad neglects two-thirds of a person’s learning capacity.

The answer to the single focus dilemma is to integrate the rational, emotional and behavioral into a single teaching style that communicates concepts clearly, warms students personally, and engages students productively. This teaching style is spontaneous rather than overly programed. It is real, relational and transformational. Some might even call it “spirit led”. I call it the “Jesus Way” since it is the way we see Jesus teaching in the Bible.

Effective teaching is hard work. But from my seat there is not much better than seeing a learner experience that “ah-ha” moment and life transformation taking place.