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A Summary of THE SEVEN LAWS OF TEACHING

December 26, 2008

THE SEVEN LAWS OF TEACHING
A summary of John Milton Gregory’s 7 Laws of Teaching and Howard Hendricks’ 7 Laws of Teaching books.

The 7 Laws of the Teacher
God wants to use you as his catalyst (change agent)—and as you let him transform and renew your thinking, you’ll be ready for his use.
Teaching is causing. Causing people to learn. Learning is change. Learning means a change in your thinking, a change in your feeling, and a change in your behavior.
Your goal as a teacher is to develop lifelong learners. Inspire the students to have a passion for learning, growing and transforming into the person God wants them to be.
The 7 Laws of the Teacher:
1.    The Law of the Teacher: If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow.
2.    The Law of Education: The way people learn determines how you teach.
3.    The Law of Activity: Maximum learning is always the result of maximum-involvement.
4.    The Law of Communication: To truly impart information requires the building of bridges.
5.    The Law of the Heart: Teaching that has impact is not head to head, but heart to heart.
6.    The Law of Encouragement: Teaching tends to be most effective when the learner is properly motivated.
7.    The Law of Readiness: The teaching-learning process will be most effective when both student and teacher are adequately prepared.
1.    The Law of the Teacher: If you stop growing today, you stop teaching tomorrow.
As a teacher I am primarily a learner—a student among students. A perpetual learner. Do you have a passion for studying and learning more about God’s word? How have you changed lately? What have you learned lately?
Teachers must be fully equipped with the knowledge they wish to communicate.
Fresh study and preparation are keys to enriched teaching.
Ideas for developing a passion for learning, growing, transforming:
1.    Maintain a consistent reading program. Churches today desperately need more people who read.
2.    Examine your teaching. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Aristotle The unexamined teacher is not that great either.
3.    Luke 6:40 …everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Does that principle represent an exciting prospect to you—or a frightening one?
Question: What good books have you read this year? What are some of your favorite resources for preparing lessons? (Commentaries, websites, books, etc?)
Question: What are some ways we can evaluate our impact and effectiveness from the viewpoint of our class members?
3.    The Law of Education: The way people learn determines how you teach.
It involves stimulating and directing the learner’s self-activities—that’s the key expression. Tell the learner nothing—and do nothing for him—that he can learn or do for himself. Give a man a fish and he will get hungry again, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
It’s not important what you do as a teacher, but what learner’s do as a result of what you do.
Good teachers can’t be focused on what they do but on what their students are doing.
Our educational system today is primarily a system whereby teaching is telling and testing is essentially a cramming meter. Teachers are interested in how much a student can cram into his head and then regurgitate onto a piece of paper. That’s not education. Real education is how the information is applied to your life and how it changes you as a person.
3 Clear cut objectives for teaching:
Teach people how to think: the best teachers in your life were probably those who planted seeds—and you’re still reaping the harvest from them.
Teach people how to learn: create learners who will perpetuate the learning process for the rest of their lives.
Teach people how to work: our goal as teachers is to develop people who are self-directed, who are disciplined, who do what they do because they choose to do it. It’s far better to have students leaving your class scratching their heads with questions they think and talk about, and with problems they’re eager to find solutions for in the next week ahead.
Question: What kind of teachers do you most enjoy learning from and why?
2.    The Law of Activity: Maximum learning is always the result of maximum-involvement. That is true with one condition: the activity must be meaningful.
Student skills grow with practical exercises involving their minds.
Real and valuable learning is more than memorization.
Your task as a communicator is not to impress people, but to impact them; not just to convince them, but to change them.
Chinese Proverb: I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand.
Psychologists tell us we have the potential of remembering only up to 10% of what we hear. And that’s potential, not actual.
If we add seeing to hearing, psychologists say our potential for remembering goes up to 50%.
If we add doing to seeing and hearing psychologists say this combination brings the percentage of memory up to 90%.
The name of the game in Christian education is not knowledge—its active obedience.
Great teaching involves great questions. Most people learn best when they communicate how the lesson applies to their situation and begin asking questions that will lead to changed thinking and changed behavior.
True teaching then is not that which gives knowledge, but that which stimulates students to gain it. (It is active rather than passive).
Question: How involved—really involved, are your students in the learning process? What are some ideas for promoting more class involvement?
12.    The Law of Communication: To truly impart information requires the building of bridges.
Lessons are best begun with common and familiar experiences.
Excellent teachers understand the background of their pupils and use it as a starting point.
The words used by teachers must be easily understood by students.
Illustrations, natural objects, and visual aids are important to good communication.
The root word Communication means commonness or commonality.
Most people communicating, whether it’s in the pulpit or in a Bible study class, are focused on the wrong end of the process. They are focusing upon what they are doing as a communicator, as a sender, rather than on what the student, the receiver is doing.
Most of us communicate the message with the intellectual component only. We rely to heavily on words alone. We are weak in communicating through emotional and volitional aspects.
All communication has 3 essential components:
o    Thought (intellect): something I know
o    Feeling (emotion): something I feel
o    Action (volition): something I’m doing
Feedback is the final step in the communication process. If you miss it you will miss it all. Find out what learners know, how they feel and what they’re doing.
o    Ask the question: Tell me how you can apply this in your sphere of influence?

2.    The Law of the Heart: Teaching that has impact is not head to head, but heart to heart.
Student interest and attention must be generated by the teacher.
A teacher’s enthusiasm is contagious with students. Learning means that a change is taking place in the mind, emotions and will.
The greatest teachers are not necessarily the people up front with high visibility. They are the people who have great heart. They communicate as a total person, and they communicate to the total person of their hearers.
All learning begins at the feeling level. People accept what they feel disposed to accept, and they reject what they feel disposed to reject.
Until the mind has been changed, the emotions have been changed and the will has been changed, biblical teaching and learning has not taken place.
How to be a teacher of impact:
o    Know your students—You can impress people at a distance. But you can impact them only up close. The closer you are to them, the greater and more permanent the impact.
o    Earn the right to be heard—Credibility always precedes communication.
Be willing to become vulnerable before your students—Let them know what you are struggling with.
Socrates summary of the essence of communication:
o    Ethos: character—credibility of the teacher
o    Pathos: compassion—how the teacher arouses the passions of the hearers
o    Logos: content—provides reasons for the action you want your learners to take
4.    The Law of Encouragement: Teaching tends to be most effective when the learner is properly motivated.
Expert teachers arouse and direct self-activities by their students, thus stimulating them to learn for themselves.
Key word above is proper—There is a story about a kid in a youth group who memorized 600 verses because of the great reward system and then was caught stealing money from the church.  He was not properly motivated for memorizing scripture verses.
Your task with all extrinsic motivation is to trigger intrinsic motivation. Internal motivation leads to maturity (self starter).
You motivate people by correctly structuring their training experience. Training involves 4 major stages:
o    Telling stage (we are usually strongest here)
o    Showing stage—providing a model
o    Controlled environment doing—role playing
o    Uncontrolled environment doing—real life action
Example: You don’t learn to swim by reading books
2 Levels of Motivation:
o    Extrinsic—motivation from without (external motivation)
o    Intrinsic—motivation from within (internal motivation)
o    Question: At any given moment in a typical SS class what percentage of the learners present do you think are highly motivated to learn?
3.    The Law of Readiness: The teaching-learning process will be most effective when both student and teacher are adequately prepared.
One of the greatest problems for SS teachers is that their students come to class cold.
Excellent education helps learners to be investigative discoverers.
Review perfects knowledge, confirms knowledge, arid makes knowledge ready and useful.
Practical reviews are characteristic of excellent teachers.
What if your class won’t do take home assignments? Do them in class right at the beginning. Write a thought provoking question on the board and then have them read through a selected text that sheds light on it.
3 Benefits for giving assignments:
o    They precipitate thinking—assignments are a mental warm up
o    They provide a foundation on which to build—questions have surfaced and curiosity is rising
o    They develop habits of independent study—encourages students to be not simply under God’s word, but in it for themselves
BE UNPREDICTABLE (variety is good for learning): Studies have shown that there’s a direct correlation between predictability and impact. The higher your predictability, the lower your impact. Conversely the lower your predictability, the higher your impact.
o    The classic illustration for this concept is the life of Jesus Christ. They could never figure him out. Jesus was far too unpredictable to ever be boring.
Question: What are some things that your class does to prepare students for the next lesson?
Question: What are some ways we can add a little variety to our class lessons?
Conclusion: Your success in your calling as an effective teacher depends not on your knowledge of these 7 laws…but on you as a person, and most strategically on your openness to God’s power in your life. The key is not what you do for God but what you allow him to do through you.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Osahon permalink
    July 3, 2012 8:13 PM

    I am blessed by this exposure.

  2. Bankston permalink
    November 10, 2012 12:21 AM

    I can truly appreciate this and apply it right away!! Thanks

  3. Nii Armah permalink
    January 24, 2013 1:59 PM

    The information was superb. God bless you so much!

  4. February 6, 2013 7:45 AM

    I actually seem to go along with every thing that has been composed inside “A Summary of THE SEVEN LAWS OF TEACHING Always Reforming”.
    Thanks for pretty much all the actual advice.Thanks,Wanda

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