Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Learning, Unlearning, and Relearning

45 years. That's right. This month begins my 45th year of teaching Greek. That is un-be-liev-a-ble

Here's what I hope to accomplish this year. According to Language Systems Theory, all learning takes place when programming is subjected to questioning. The formula goes like this:

L = P + Q

Learning = Programming + Questioning

"Programming" is another way of referring to expert-provided knowledge. Participants in active learning learn more from generating insights than collecting knowledge and advice. (Go here for more.) This has many implications for the way I teach:

1. I'd rather be a learning motivator than a disseminator of information (though I do both).

2. I'd rather teach Greek than any other class (e.g., New Testament Introduction, a book study, etc.) because by teaching Greek I help students acquire a tool that will equip them for a lifetime of research and self-learning.

3. I want my students, especially those who tend to look to their teacher as "the Bible answer man,"  to think for themselves. 

The American writer and futurist Alvin Toeffler once said, "The illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn" (source). 


Learning is a cycle that allows us to learn facts, question them, and then possibly even turn away from them when the evidence turns against them. Humans are always learning, unlearning, and relearning. 

The best part? It is a truly enriching process. Learning becomes joyous again. It becomes participatory again. It becomes motivational again. Learning takes on a whole new relevance and urgency. 

Hopefully, through my teaching this semester, students will be motivated to make learning a lifelong habit as part of their Christian stewardship. That's my goal, at least!