Students learn through facilitation and occasional lectures

Adapting question-based learning to the culture

Matthew and Sarah, Middle East

[Matthew and Sarah established and teach at a Bible Institute in the Middle East, offering Bible and ministry training to members of a refugee community. Only mature applicants who are committed to studying and applying what they learn are accepted each year. Visiting scholars and teachers from multiple nations, plus Matthew and Sarah, provide instruction and mentoring. We asked how facilitated, question-based instruction resonates with their students.]

We’ve found facilitated learning alone doesn’t work well with this culture. But, mixing some question-based facilitation with a strong lecture style is great. In this culture, teachers must demonstrate they have something to teach and that their knowledge is greater than that of the students in order to be taken seriously. If not, the students will not study the teachers’ material, even if they have excellent content to pass along. In fact, we have seen a few instances in which students mocked the teacher who was using a facilitated style; if not mocking, sometimes politely complaining.

Basically, our students are comfortable with questions, but if the teacher has nothing to add they do not respect that teacher. They are comfortable discussing questions in groups, but again, if the teacher has nothing to add or expound upon after their discussion, they say, “Why is that teacher here?”

[Matthew and Sarah are learning to adapt facilitation to meet the needs of their audience, another example of Entrust’s commitment to contextualization in all aspects of our church leadership training.]