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Archive for January 17th, 2021

Precept Upon Precept

Sometimes an image will make me think, give me ideas or inspire me in some way. Such was the case when I saw the image to the left.

It could be used to illustrate many things, but when I saw it my first thoughts were regarding education.

Both ladders are heading in the same direction, they both appear to be reaching the same heights. The one on the left has a person at the top, with many little steps to reach the destination. The one on the right has a person at the bottom, unable to reach even the first rung of the more spaced apart rungs.

Immediately I realized how perfectly it illustrates that a teacher providing many, smaller, incremental steps to an academic goal can mean that the goal is accessible to more learners. Less are left behind, all able to move forward … maybe not in the same timing, but the goal is attainable for most. This is best teaching practise.

Accessibility to all, is the model of the teaching of Jesus himself.

When Jesus spoke to the crowds, he did so as when he spoke in the temple … through parables. He did this because a parable is a story, weaving a message through relatable events, items and experiences. Most of his listeners understood vines, differences between wealth and poverty, familial relationships. So that is the subject matter through which he delivered his messages.

Though not all listening might have had full understanding of his message, all could listen along, gleaning nuggets of truth and instruction along the way.

Then, because there were easy to understand parts of the story, people could re-tell what Jesus had said and if one call retell a story, they have mastered the message.

Jesus did this because he wanted people to know that his story, his lessons were for all people, from the oldest to the youngest.

For it is precept upon precept,
precept upon precept,
line upon line,
line upon line,
here a little, there a little.”
Isaiah 28:10

The writer of Isaiah is speaking here of children and how to teach them.

The Matthew Henry Commentary, on this passage says, “Teachers should accommodate themselves to the capacity of the learners, give them what they most need and can best bear, and a little at a time.” This is how we need to share the Good News, just as it is how we need to educate learners in school.

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