God's Kingdom without Borders

The Vine Institute

God's Kingdom without Borders

Beware! Learning Curve Ahead

“It seems like our materials are written in a non-Western, circular style, but our group is comprised of Western, linear thinkers,” one of our Vine Institute facilitators recently observed. “So we need to adapt them to our group’s best mode of learning.”

Linear or circular? Do you and “your people” learn more readily and typically in an A-then-B-then-C sequence of information (sort of a linear logic style) or in more of a storytelling, exploratory interactive style of “talking in circles” until insights and conclusions emerge?

For example, sometimes the same point recurs three or four times in a single lesson of the Timothy Leadership Training materials, though worded a bit differently each time it is repeated: in a lesson from our course Caring for God’s People, something about “listening skills” during a pastoral visit gets reinforced with questions and anecdotes in this way again and again.

To what extent, as we learn in a mixed-culture setting, does this difference matter? How much adaptation, if any, should we do? On the other hand, might it be a good stretching exercise to do some learning both in and from a cultural style of education?

Frankly I have more questions than answers, as you can probably tell. I’m still learning, and learning how to learn. I suppose we’re all a work in progress. Where are you at in all of this?

David Rowe

Posted in Multicultural on 16 October 2012

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