“Learning Experience 11: Deciding How to Teach: Helping Students Fulfill Their Role,” New-Teacher Training Resource: A Teacher-Improvement Companion to the Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook (2016)
“Learning Experience 11,” New-Teacher Training Resource
This learning experience covers the following concepts:
Determining how to teach
Understanding students’ role in learning
Helping students fulfill their role
As you prepare lessons, it is important to balance determining what to teach and how to teach.
In learning experience 10, you learned how to use the curriculum when deciding what to teach in the scripture block. You are now ready to determine how to teach your students.
If students are to experience spiritual growth, you will need to understand their role in the learning process and prepare learning activities that will help them actively fulfill their role.
Throughout this learning experience, record any inspiration or ideas you receive for helping your students fulfill their role in the learning process.
Many General Authorities have emphasized the importance of helping students fulfill their role in the learning process.
Think of a time when the teacher of a class you attended prepared activities that engaged you in the learning process. Now think of a time when a teacher did not actively involve members of the class. Compare and contrast the two experiences.
What difference did it make when you and others were invited to participate in the learning process?
What did the teacher do to help you fulfill your role as a learner?
Students can fulfill their role in gospel learning as you invite them to explain, share, and testify of gospel doctrine and principles. Explaining, sharing, and testifying of gospel doctrine and principles clarifies students’ understanding, improves their ability to teach the gospel to others, and strengthens their testimony of the things they are expressing. (See Gospel Teaching and Learning, section 2.6 [pages 31–33].)
Students can explain a scripture passage or principle in their own words. You can invite students to explain in pairs, in small groups, with the entire class, through role-playing, or in writing.
Students can share insights, experiences, or feelings related to a scripture or principle. You can invite students to share feelings or appropriate personal experiences they have had with a doctrine or principle. They can also share experiences they have witnessed in the lives of others. This could be done verbally or in writing.
Students can testify of doctrine and principles they know to be true. You can invite them to testify of what they feel and know to be true and the difference it has made in their lives. Students need not begin with “I would like to bear my testimony” or “I know.” Making any statement of conviction or personal witness of truth constitutes testifying.
Students will participate more fully as they understand their role in gospel learning. One of the first lessons in most seminary teacher manuals provides information on teaching students their role. Briefly review lesson 3, “The Role of the Learner,” in the Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual and consider how you might use principles from the lesson as you teach your students about their role in the learning process.
You can help your students understand, accept, and fulfill their role in gospel learning.
It is important for you to teach your students about their role in gospel learning at the beginning of and throughout the school year.
You can help students fulfill their role in the learning process by inviting them to explain, share, and testify of doctrine and principles.
The teacher manual can help you prepare activities that will engage your students in the learning process.
“[The students’] decision to participate is an exercise in agency that permits the Holy Ghost to communicate a personalized message suited to their individual needs. Creating an atmosphere of participation enhances the probability that the Spirit will teach more important lessons than you can communicate.
“That participation will bring into their lives the direction of the Spirit” (Richard G. Scott, “To Learn and to Teach More Effectively” [Education Week devotional, Aug. 21, 2007], 4–5, speeches.byu.edu).
To conclude this learning experience, write down some things you will do based on the principles you have learned today.