4 Common Teaching Methods

As to methods of teaching a lesson, the choice will depend upon the age, ability, and environment of the students.  The method should be varied from time to time, and several methods may be properly combined in the same lesson.  Here are four methods of teaching that can be incorporated in the class time.

1.  Story Telling

The story telling method is best for primary and younger intermediate classes.  The teacher carefully prepares the lesson with the little ones in mind, reduces it to a story, and tells it as accurately and simply as possible, using pictures, objects, and blackboard, and questioning upon the story as she proceeds with it, in order to see if she is understood.  Afterwards she has the children to repeat and explain the story to her in their own childish words and way.  This simple method lies at the basis of all good teaching.

2.  Analytical

The analytical method is a step higher, and is better suited to the older boys and girls.  The teacher reads the verses of the lesson, or has them read one by one, and questions the students individually, and in the simplest form, upon the words, statements, and meanings of the verse, so that the text itself will be made plain.  It is not so much a study of "doctrines" and "points" as of the simple lesson text.  Such a method quickens the attention of the students and fixes their minds upon what the Bible says.

3.  Lecture

The lecture method is suited to adults.  The teacher questions little or none, although inviting and encouraging questions from the class.  He presents the lesson after the form of a lecture, setting forth its "points" in an orderly manner, and applying its truths to the present conditions of his class.  Teachers of adult Bible classes have found this the most popular method, for the reason that ignorance as to questions asked of adults if more embarrassing than with children and youth.  Many will sit with such a class, and receive profit from the teacher's lecture, who would stay away if individual questions were asked.

4.  Colloquial

The colloquial method is the best "all-around" method for well-trained classes.  Under this method verse after verse is taken up in order by members of the class (using Bible only), read and expounded by each in his own way; the teacher informally correcting, modifying, or stating contrary views, the utmost freedom being allowed to teacher and class.

Under a prudent teacher, of firmness and tact to curtail needless discussion and to hold the class to the main truths of the lesson, such lesson study has a peculiar charm and profit.  But its success depends upon the wisdom of the leader, without which the colloquial method degenerates into profitless and "cranky" discussion.  (1)