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the functions of the four learning domains using illustrations from daily life and from Scripture.” The following is a suggested model answer. Essay Outline:
The Four Learning Domains
Essay overview: Introduction: What do we mean by “learning”? The 4 Domains: Know - Do - Be - Understand Distinguishing Content from Process, and two kinds of Doing Two Examples – the Bicycle Repairer & Washing Up An Analogy – the Pyramid An example from Scripture – Apollos Conclusion: Learning theology is like repairing a bicycle or constructing a pyramid! Introduction The English word “learning” can refer either to that which is learnt (content) or to the process of learning itself. Thus “a man of much learning” might be expected to know a lot! But if students are said to be “learning from writing essays”, what is being referred to is the process by which they have learnt. Theological Education covers many areas of study (content), e.g. Biblical Studies Christian Doctrine Practical / Pastoral Theology Philosophy / Apologetics Contemporary Studies Communication / Missiology Church History Each area includes many separate subjects (also content). e.g. Christian Doctrine covers such subjects as The Trinity Redemption The Second Coming of Christ Sin Learning, considered as process however, occurs in areas of a different kind, called “domains”, areas of thinking activity that have distinctive characteristics operating within defined limits. There are 4 such “domains” in which the process of learning must occur if the learner is to develop his learning fully.
The Four Domains described KNOWLEDGE (Cognitive Domain) Knowing: acquiring information / knowledge SKILLS (Functional Domain) Doing: acquiring skills (how to do things) FORMATION (Affective Domain) Being: acquiring character (attitude / behaviour) WISDOM (Prudential Domain) Understanding: acquiring insight (into design & relationship of things) and gaining awareness of purpose Generally (but not in every subject or context in the curriculum of T.E.) these 4 learning domains should be equally developed for balanced growth. Important Distinctions 1. We must not confuse learning’s content (the things learnt) with the process of learning itself. Content is about information, fields of STUDY, SUBJECTS taught and RESOURCE material; Process is about the tasks of KNOWING, UNDERSTANDING and DOING things, and also the process of changing BEHAVOUR (attitude / character / will). Note on Obedience: It follows that (on the basis just outlined) obedience is “learnt” not by “doing” (which refers only to the performance of skills), but by “being” (i.e. learning obedience as character is changed). So “doing” is about acquiring skills (not attitudes); “being” (in T.E.) is about behaviour - becoming more like Christ. Thus when God commands His people to “do all that I commanded you to do”, He is requiring not some skill or ability (DOING Domain), but rather obedient behavour (BEING Domain) Every-day Examples a) The Bicycle Repairer These 4 learning fields are found in all life’s activities from writing a letter to: a) Repairing a Bicycle: needs Knowledge of the Bicycle parts; Understanding of how they fit together / function; Skill to do the job, and a good Attitude to get it done well. b) Washing up Requires knowing what soap to us, understanding why we need hot water, not cold, doing the job efficiently & being careful about it.
All Four Domains equally essential: An Analogy The Pyramid A “pyramid”: building used for burying Pharaohs in Egypt with triangular sides starting at ground level as a square and rising to a peak. Its significance as a comparison with the 4 learning domains: 4 sides are integral to each other for mutual support. Apex is reached only when all 4 sides are present in equal proportions. The Example of Apollos Acts 18:24-8 shows Apollos as a preacher well advanced in Knowledge, Skills, Formation, but lacking Wisdom (in certain aspects of the Gospel). He was well informed/instructed (knowing), taught accurately & spoke eloquently (doing), but needed Priscilla / Aquila to explain the Way of God (understanding) more adequately. (“Eloquently” could be translated “full of spiritual fervour”, i.e. a reference then to his being.) Conclusion Learning theology is like • repairing a bicycle - all four fields are involved • washing up • building a pyramid in that all 4 domains are equally needed for the balanced development of the learner. Seminarians should ask themselves: Why did I come to Seminary? Was it: • to gain knowledge about / to learn more about my faith / the Bible (what I should believe / what is in it)? • to have time to think about life / theology / God (why things are the way they are / God does what He does)? • to learn how to preach well / evangelise effectively / manage a church congregation efficiently? • to become a pastor/ church worker who cares about his / her people’s economic, social, political and religious problems? Are all of the above areas represented in my reasons for coming? - Or only some of them? - How can I have a balanced attitude to my Seminary training? We see that these 4 domains apply to • Most common tasks / activities like mending a bike • Writing essays • Seminary education and training • Ministry & life One padri successfully applied these principles to Group Bible Study, by asking of a passage: What does information does it give us? What insights to under-standing? What skills does it convey? What right attitude does it teach?