Learning Styles Part 1: Do Learning Styles Matter in Church?
Learning styles are often discussed in the context of traditional (and secular) educational environments, but are often ignored by people in the church who are responsible for the Christian education of children. Should children’s Bible teachers bother themselves at all about learning styles? Absolutely! In fact, learning styles are one of the most important factors you should consider when it comes to imparting the truths of the Bible to your kids.
What are learning styles?
Basically, a learning style is the way each person best processes and retains information. If everyone had the same learning style then teaching wouldn’t be nearly as challenging, but that is not the case. People in general have different learning styles. Most have a combination of different learning styles. The same is true for kids. The way you present and review information with the children in your ministry can affect whether or not they really “get it.” And when you are talking about the eternal truths of salvation, then “getting it” is of utmost importance.
What Are The Learning Styles?
There are four basic learning styles. Here at the Sunday School Zone Blog we are kicking off an article series to help you get a grip on each style so that you can better approach your lesson plans to ensure each student “gets it.” We will devote a blog post to each of the four main learning styles in the upcoming weeks, but for today here is a brief introduction to each so that you can begin thinking of which kind of learners you have in your class or church ministry, and God can begin enlightening your heart and mind on how to best minister to each child.
These are learners with a strong read/write preference. These kids take pride in note taking, report writing and are usually strong readers. In the younger age group you can spot your read/write learners as those who like to listen to stories, do worksheets and take pride in neat work.
This student often needs visual aids in order to process written or spoken information. These kids react well to videos, photos, posters, and visual illustrations.
This student can grasp a story that is read to them far more readily than if they must read it themselves. They have an easier time communicating through speaking than writing. These children enjoy discussion and having stories read out loud to them.
Kinesthetic Learners/Hands On Learners
These are the kids in your class that usually have tons of energy and need to “do” in order to learn. These children learn well through games, roll playing, dramatic re-enactments and projects. These learners often present a “challenge” at first but once their learning style is tapped into, they prove to be bright, receptive students.
Be sure to check out all of our Learning Styles Series in the next few weeks, as our blog contributors clue you in on how to connect with each type of learner. You have your ministry kids for such a short amount of time, every minute counts. We are here to help you make the most of each moment.
You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.