NONFORMAL Education, Part 2

In regards to my past thoughts on nonformal education…I am not saying that we need to create educational venues within the church that allows for a pool of ignorance or relativism, in which there is no teaching of a proper theology or a proper use of scripture.

But I am saying that we need to create nonformal educational spaces within the church, that allows for our people to come and be tested with ethical or theological dilemmas.  There must be places where we don’t immediately give them the answer (& sometimes don’t give the answer at all as Jesus asked 225 questions and answered less than ½!!!).

Can we simply allow our learners within a social-like setting to DO theological thinking?  To DO their own biblical analysis over an issue, and come to their own conclusions?  (Let us not forget that as Jesus was authoritative in his teaching, there were also times he was non-authoritative, pushing his learners to wrestle with issues like in Matthew 21:23-27)

NOTE:  Does this mean no formal instruction can be conducted in the midst of the nonformal process?  Of course not, as there is never a “pure” educational mode of learning, there is always overlap in which you do show them a proper interpretation of an issue, and how you would use scripture to deal with the subject at hand…But not until you allow them to wrestle with the issue themselves.

Unlike how the formal educational mode is about TELLING and the informal mode that is about MODELING, this nonformal model of education is about DOING & SHOWING.


~ by Dave Smith on May 22, 2008.

One Response to “NONFORMAL Education, Part 2”

  1. You are so right on this Dave. When I worked in Strongsville, I tried to convince our students for four years that they had some deep-rooted racism issues. They never believed me until I took them to Harlem for a few days. I taught a lesson on racism while they were sitting on the bleachers in Rucker Park, and for the first time they listened.

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