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Leadership Learning Methods Part 2

There are ten adult learning principles and methods that are grounded in neuroscience and andragogy I would like to survey for you in this session.

Let’s begin with the concept of motivation.

1. Motivation: Adults must want to learn
Studies have proven that adults learn most effectively when they are motivated to acquire a particular type of knowledge or develop a new skill.

2. Relevance: Adults must see connections to learn
The concept here is that adults learn most effectively when they see links between new information that they’re learning and their previous knowledge and experience, especially how the topic they’re learning relates to their life and to their work or ministry.

3. Participation: Adults must interact to learn
The concept here is that adults learn most effectively by an extensive use of interactive exercises that are critical for student engagement and learning, as opposed to and in contrast to traditional passive listening or passive reading.

4. Active Learning in Class: Adults must interact in class to learn
Adults learn most effectively in classes or groups when that time is used for active learning with the instructor and peers. Many studies have demonstrated that standard classroom lecturing is often a very ineffective mode of learning. A more effective classroom learning model is to “flip the classroom” so that students watch or listen to lectures outside of the classroom (as part of their homework) so that classroom time can be used for interactive engagement with the instructor and with peers.

5. Active Learning Outside Class: Adults must interact outside class to learn
Adults learn most effectively outside of classes or groups when that time is used for active learning with learning resources. This is especially true of homework where even brief audios or videos need to be paused periodically for students to answer a question to test whether they are truly understanding the concepts and the ideas. When adults are not actively participating in their learning outside of class it will have the same effect as being a passive learner in a formal classroom just listening to a long lecture.

6. Peer Learning: Adults must have interaction with peers to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they receive input and feedback on the subject they’re learning from both the instructor and their peers. Unlike most traditional education where the instructor is the only source of input and feedback, properly designed peer learning exercises and assessments can have a very significant impact on adult learning. Many studies have proven that students can learn actually more from constructive evaluation and feedback from others students than the instructor.

7. Competency-Based: Adults must have measurable competencies to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they are seeking to develop clearly defined goals, what we call holistic competencies while being held accountable through objective and measurable results. Unlike most traditional education that is primarily teacher/teaching-based, students learn best when their learning is primarily learner/competency-based. This requires clearly defined, measurable outcome-competencies (e.g. a learner profile), a learning process designed to develop those competencies, and learning assessments then to measure the results.

8. Problem-Solving: Adults must solve problems to learn
Adults learn most effectively when focusing on solving relevant, realistic problems as opposed to merely acquiring knowledge sequentially. Unlike most traditional education where the instructor shares solutions to problems and answer to questions, properly designed learning experiences that allow adults to discover solutions to problems and answers to questions is a much more effective learning process.

9. Mastery-Learning: Adults must have immediate feedback to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they receive immediate feedback from testing methods resulting in self-discovery. Unlike most testing methods in traditional education, students need to receive immediate feedback on any concepts that the student does not understand before moving on to be tested on another concept. This allows for ongoing re-study and re-attempts in self-discovery while completing assignments.

10. Hybrid Methods: Adults must have hybrid methods to learn
Adults learn most effectively when they are using integrated learning methods that are actually adapted to their unique context and learning styles. Unlike most traditional education that focuses mostly on formal learning methods, adult students learn best through integrating formal, non-formal, and informal methods according to their needs. Both face-to-face learning and online learning methods are considerably more effective than either method alone.


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It’s not enough for church leaders to follow the university model and watch lectures, take tests, and write papers. They desperately need proven methods to help them learn better and faster with less passive listening and more active learning in real-life.

In this next video, we’ll survey ten proven learning principles and methods that can help church leaders grow not only in knowledge, but in character and skill.

In this course, you’ll be equipped to:

  • Understand the primacy of Christian character in leadership development
  • Demonstrate how leadership development occurs in relationships
  • Explain three effective training methods for developing leaders
  • Implement effective church leadership development models
  • Describe core competencies needed for effective church leadership
  • Demonstrate how to assess character, skills, and knowledge
  • Understand the principles and methods needed for effective training
  • Discover effective, practical learning principles and methods
  • Design and implement a practical leadership development plan in your church

This brief video (7:03) will help you “learn how to learn” so you can be more effective as both a teacher and a life-long learner.

Take this course now.


We help underserved church leaders develop churches that transform lives and communities






Read the New Chapter Below

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Leadership Learning Methods Part 1

It’s been well-said that the goal of teaching is to make learning possible. In order to educate pastoral leaders well, it’s not enough for them to merely read books, listen to lectures, write papers, and take tests. Mark Twain once said, “College is a place where a professor’s lecture notes go straight to the students’ lecture notes, without passing through the brains of either.”

We’ve seen so far that in order for a leader to develop well and holistically, the leader must be led into a life- changing, lifelong process of ongoing reflection and action as they learn how to apply God’s truth to their personal lives and ministry in the context of doing ministry in a church – normally under the oversight of a mature church leader.

To develop as a mature, effective church leader, you must be part of a life-long leadership development process. This is the model that we are surveying in this course called the Leadership Development Model and these are the five components. In the last session we examined the first two of five components in an effective leadership development process, the leader profile and the concept of leader assessment.

In this session we’ll be examining more deeply the leadership learning methods components in this leadership development model as well as how does particular methods can best result in the desired learning outcomes of the development of personal competencies

Effective learning methods must be based on sound educational principles. In the field of education today, great advances have been made in the principles and practices and methodologies of effective education of adults.

In fact, a new word has been popularized for adult learning during the end of the 20th century by educator and author Malcom Knowles and that word is called andragogy. The word is a combination of the Greek ἀνδρός (andros) “man” and ἄγω (ágō), meaning “to lead”: meaning, “to lead a man” literally. More specifically andragogy, though, is the science of understanding and supporting the lifelong education of adults as opposed to the more traditional, short-term education of children.

The word arose from the practice of pedagogy to address the very specific needs in the education of adults as opposed to the education of children.
The word pedagogy is a derivative of the Greek παιδαγωγία (paidagōgia) which is a combination of παιδός (paidos) “child,” and ἄγω (ágō), “to lead”: hence, “to lead a child.’’ The word was originally used in reference to a slave who escorted Greek children to school.

Andragogy is intentionally less “content/teaching-centered” and more “learner/learning- centered” than pedagogy with a strong focus on engaging adult learners within the context of their learning experience.


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