Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Lecture Environment

Lecture: n.

1. An exposition of a given subject delivered before an audience or a class, as for the purpose of instruction.
2. An earnest admonition or reproof; a reprimand.

I feel that every healthy learning environment automatically has an element of lecturing going on. An example in our home happened recently after scripture study. We are reading in 3rd Nephi about the parable of the lost sheep. What a perfect time it was to turn the parable into a positive and influential lecture time. It was a topic that was weighing heavily on my mind because of how much I love my friends who are having difficult times right now. I used the analogy that President Ezra Taft Benson spoke of so often in his home, "No empty seats in Heaven." I asked them to look at each other and asked how they would feel if one of us did not make it to the Celestial Kingdom, but the rest of us did. Wouldn't we miss that person terribly? Every child was sober and listening intently. They nodded their heads sadly. I then spoke of our helping those we know outside of our family. Benjamin went so far as to name several of his friends that he would miss terribly. I then turned the lecture into an open forum/discussion and asked what we can do to help those we love and befriend to stay on the straight and narrow path. After the influential and sober lecture, it naturally turned into a lively and positive discussion.

Lectures are a necessary part of learning. When we go to college we listen to lectures. We internalize and take it the aspects that can change us or that affect us. When we go to church, we have lessons many times in the lecture format. Lectures can be powerful learning tools.

I have many positive memories of lectures from my parents that are still with me today. To lecture someone or a group of people takes time, energy, and effort. It is a labor of love because more often that not we are doing it for their good and because we love them.

Lecturing in the homeschooling environment can come in various subjects and for various reasons. The reason could be anywhere from the importance of making our beds to why math is important and how everyone will use it in some form another in life.

Recently, several of my children became "pyromaniacs" and were caught a couple of times lighting small things on fire (i.e. sticks, leaves, paper, and later my pillow and part of my bed!) With the help of my friend Dawn on here, I turned their inappropriate behavior into a learning lecture complete with pictures of burn victims to fire safety. It became a varied learning lecture and I feel that not only did they learn a lot from it, but they became more aware of life, natural consequences, and very grateful to God for not getting burned or killed. Between this intense lecture and the fear of them almost burning the house down we've not had another incident since.

I am very much an advocate of a lecture in the learning environment. I agree with Aine that it should not be done too often as the effectiveness with wear off and eyes will glaze over and ears will shut off. Kids need variation in learning. Lecturing is a great one to teach important lessons. Hats off to the old fashioned "lecture"!

1 comment:

texasblu said...

lol.. the glazed eyes are a dead give away, aren't they? It's nice to read about someone seeing "lectures" in a positive light - usually they're given a negative twist. :)

I'm off to hear about being a joyful mother tonight... I'm totally exhausted from all the plums (I decided to freeze and finish canning later) but I just can't resist going!