FOUR PILLARS OF GROUP’S RESOURCES THAT MAKE IT DIFFERENT
Group’s resources have been used by churches across the globe for several decades now. One reason for its continual thrive is its active learning philosophy – REAL Learning, which is at the core of our approach to teaching and learning.
Active learning fosters understanding rather than memorization of facts; it encourages kids to build relationship and apply their learning in their lives. It is strongly student based as opposed to the conventional method of teacher based.
REAL Learning is the secret ingredient to all of Group’s resources. Let us unpack and look at each part.
Relational learning helps kids build relationships with each other to help them build a relationship with a God they cannot see. Today’s children need personal involvement in learning. Kids are used to the fast pace of the media and need to engage their minds, their bodies, and their feelings to learn. Hence, they lose interest when they are not part of the learning process, where teacher does all the talking and the children are supposed to do all the listening.
Studies have shown that children learn best from other children. When kids are immersed in relational learning, learning within relationships, and learning about relationships happens.
Experiential learning is where kids learn by engaging in authentic learning activities through the use of the multiple sense organs. In this learning setup, kids always actively participate in the learning and not end up as passive observer.
Kids remember best what they do and experience. As a result, experiential learning increases learning retention up to 90%. It is not enough to simply tell children what to do! Instructors need to create experiences for them, so they will fully grasp what it means to follow Jesus and live transformed lives.
Group resources are known for having a simple, single applicable point at the end of each learning experience. The primary goal of this approach is to transform lives in the context of a growing relationship with Jesus. Very often, instructors end up giving massive amount of information to kids without the scope of any application with relevance. A very important part of active learning is the debriefing. A learning experience that is not debriefed will probably not result in much learning.
Giving kids time to reflect on the ‘message’ from the learning help them ‘think outside the box’ on ways they can apply it in their lives. Kids are more likely to do it when they have talked about how they can apply the lesson. The goal is to equip kids to be hearers and doers of God’s Word!
Learner-based approach is when the learner is at the center of all the activities. Children learn best when they are taught in the way they like. In this setup, teachers play the role of a facilitator in the learning process as compared to the traditional style of teaching.
In a teacher-based learning which is the conventional approach, the teacher teaches, explains, and passes on knowledge and information to the student. The student is a mere observer and rarely participates in the learning process.
According to psychologist Howard Gardner, there are 8 ways we are smart. They are – Body-Smart, Word-Smart, Logic-Smart, Picture-Smart, People-Smart, Self-Smart, Nature-Smart and Music-Smart. When all these smarts are incorporated in the learning experience, kids enjoy the lesson as it caters to their learning style.
When the learning experience is relational, experiential, applicable and learner based, we create memorable, transformational faith experiences for kids.
At Group, these have been the pillars of our resources that make it different. Relational – Kids become friends as they learn. Experiential – They do more than listen or read, they experience the lesson. Applicable – Children learn to become doers of the Word. Learner-Based – They draw closer to Jesus in their own unique way.