Adult Learning and Its Application in My Theology Class

Here are my Theology/Religion class students from Sta. Rosa City.

I always knew that adult learners are a lot more complicated to teach than younger students. I felt this when six years ago, I was called to become a religion/theology teacher in our church. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and it has been my task – for the longest time – to teach about religion based on scriptures and our church-issued teaching manuals.

In these six years, I was able to see the transition of our church’s proposed lesson plans to the ones that we now use. Back then, most of our lessons were presented through lectures, recitations and chalkboard discussions. And just a few years back, new manuals were issued with more teaching methods added.

Now, we have group discussions, role playing, music time, student reports, forums, choral speaking, special projects, assignments, and the list could go on and on. What the church practically did was give us a leeway on how we will teach our lessons.

Because of this change, my adult students participated more and our class has become a lot livelier. I always made it a point to make learning more fun, too. For the artists in our class, we now have drawing sessions. For the poet-wannabes, I give them a chance to express their feelings through poem composition.

With my new learning from our first module, I will be able to fortify these changes that have already taken place. I will also give my students more autonomy when it comes to their development.

A Facilitator Not A Teacher 

This is who I am now. Learning in our class is and will always be learner-centered. The variety of techniques will help us achieve our learning objectives. Our class will also be a partnership as I will stimulate and participate in learning.

I have here a table that differentiates the teacher from a facilitator –

Teacher Facilitator
Lectures Aids in discussions
Information comes from the teacher Participates and guides during lesson presentations
Center of attention Teaching is learner-centered
Large class Small grouping
PowerPoint presentations and other visual aids Scenarios, handouts, and group activities
Controls activities Indirect control of activities

Looking at these differences, the biggest changes are all focused on the student who is now being the center of learning. As a facilitator who is willing to embrace these more active styles of teaching, I believe that deeper learning is the inevitable outcome.


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