Learning Experience 11: Deciding How to Teach: Helping Students Fulfill Their Role
    Footnotes

    “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

    Learning Experience 11

    Deciding How to Teach: Helping Students Fulfill Their Role

    Overview

    This learning experience covers the following concepts:

    • Determining how to teach

    • Understanding students’ role in learning

    • Helping students fulfill their role

    balanced scale

    Key Concepts

    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.

    The Student’s Role in the Learning Process

    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.

    Gospel Teaching and Learning Handbook Activity

    handbook cover

    Study section 1.3.3 (pages 6–7) and the first three paragraphs of section 4.3.4 (page 55) of Gospel Teaching and Learning: A Handbook for Teachers and Leaders in Seminaries and Institutes of Religion (2012). While reading, look for answers to the following questions:

    • What is the student’s role in the learning process?

    • What do you feel are the most important things you can do to help your students fulfill their role?

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    Record your responses to these questions in a study journal or another place where you can refer to them and share them with your inservice leader or group.

    Prophetic Counsel on the Student’s Role

    Many General Authorities have emphasized the importance of helping students fulfill their role in the learning process.

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    Watch the video “Prophetic Teaching about the Student’s Role in Learning” (4:14), available on LDS.org. In this video, several Church leaders testify of the importance of the student’s role in the learning process.

    Personal Reflection

    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?

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    Record your responses to these questions in a study journal or another place where you can refer to them and share them with your inservice leader or group.

    students in church classroom

    Helping Students Fulfill Their Role

    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.

    Participation Enhances Learning

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    Watch the video “Explain, Share and Testify: Students’ Testimonies” (2:28), available on LDS.org. In this video, students speak about fulfilling their role as they explain, share, and testify in seminary.

    A Student-Centered Classroom

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    Watch the video “A Student-Centered Classroom: An Example” (6:51), available on LDS.org. In this video, Sister Weller helps students to fulfill their role in learning from the scriptures. Watch for how she accomplishes this purpose.

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    Watch the video “A Student-Centered Classroom: A Teacher’s Reflections” (3:01), available on LDS.org. In this video, Sister Weller discusses the importance of helping students participate in the learning process.

    Teacher Manual Activity

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    Each lesson in your teacher manual has questions, activities, and methods that can help your students actively participate while learning from the scriptures. Open your teacher manual to any lesson or use the handout titled “Sample Lesson—3 Nephi 11:1–17” that is provided in the appendix of this manual. Look for questions, activities, and methods that you might use to invite students to fulfill their role in the learning process.

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    Record a few questions, activities, or methods that you found in a study journal or another place where you can refer to them and share them with your inservice leader or group.

    Teaching Students Their Role

    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.

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    Watch the video “Teaching Students Their Role” (6:27), available on LDS.org. In this video, Brother Howell teaches his students about their role at the beginning of the school year.

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    Record some ideas you may want to use as you teach your students about their role at the beginning of and throughout the school year. Record your ideas in a study journal or another place where you can refer to them and share them with your inservice leader or group.

    Summary and Application

    Principles to Remember

    • 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.

    Elder Richard G. Scott

    “[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).

    “Therefore, What?”

    To conclude this learning experience, write down some things you will do based on the principles you have learned today.