Faith Is An Acoustical Affair, We See By First Listening

Martin Luther once said that faith is an acoustical affair, we see by first listening.

If a nonbeliever walked past a group of believers sharing communion, what would they see? They would see a group of people eating bits of bread and drinking little cups of juice. Until they heard Gods words from Mathew 26:26-30, they would not see a communion service or understand what the bread and juice represent.

If a nonbeliever walked past a person being baptized in a river, what would they see? They would see people being dunked into water. Until they heard Gods words from Mathew 3, they would not see a baptism occurring. They would not understand the significance of being immersed in water as a symbol of leaving our old ways behind and surrendering to Gods ways as we emerge from the water a new living being in Christ.

Teaching is an acoustical affair as well. Students must hear what is being taught before they “see”. Teachers describe the students “seeing” by having the light bulb turn on, or having an “aha” moment, or having a switch in their head turn on.

The new direction of teaching is to incorporate as many experiential learning activities as we can. Students do “see” by doing things and engaging in work that needs to be done for a project to complete.

All year our staff have been training in Teaching for Transformation (TfT). We have been intentional at putting our biblical through lines and our story lines into our curriculum. We have been using the foundations of TfT to plan our new BC education curriculum for implementation this September 2016. The TfT training involves design of formational learning experiences that allow students to get into the messiness of problem solving, collaboration, creativity, and discernment that will take place in the classroom.

The “acoustics” of teaching are changing, if you walk down the halls, you would notice a shift away from the teacher in front of students disseminating information and moving towards a new formational learning experience teaching students to “hear and see” in a new way.

#darrelljohnson, #martinluther

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2 thoughts on “Faith Is An Acoustical Affair, We See By First Listening

  1. Thank you for a beautiful summary and practice of the teaching philosophy our children are learning within! We appreciate the proven efforts made by staff to engage students in meaningful “seeing” activities. A nurturing model of mentoring that validates youth voice, experience and growing discernment.

  2. I agree. Thank you for your post. How do we help students to hear among the constant visual bombardment of Instagram, Snap Chat, and Facebook? These “voices” are competing for their attention. Is listening to God’s “still small voice” becoming harder and harder to do in our culture? As a Christian school, how do we create space in learning where students can be “still and know” that He is their God? How do we navigate this for 21st Century learning while staying faithful to our Mission and Vision?

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