By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Director of Online Education.
September 18, 2017—While facts are not altogether the most important thing in learning, they remain, nevertheless very important. Acquiring factual knowledge is fundamental, but not rudimentary. They consist of the “stuff” from which critical thinking, understanding, and ultimately application of knowledge is built. While it remains true that many teachers remain too long on facts and do not move quickly enough to critical thinking and application beyond the facts, it is also true that the more efficient we are at helping students acquire factual knowledge, the more effective will be working in the higher stages of learning. For one thing, teachers will not have to spend time correcting misunderstandings or reviewing material due to poor recall.
Facts are not often simple bits of information, and they are not “trivia.” Some facts can consist of concepts, and some, are complex concepts. Here is the best procedure for helping students with the acquisition of factual knowledge:
Israel Galindo is Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Director of Online Education at the Columbia Theological Seminary. Formerly, he was Dean at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. He is the author of the bestseller, The Hidden Lives of Congregations (Alban), Perspectives on Congregational Leadership (Educational Consultants), and A Family Genogram Workbook (Educational Consultants), with Elaine Boomer and Don Reagan.
His books on Christian education include Mastering the Art of Instruction,The Craft of Christian Teaching (Judson), How to be the Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson), Planning for Christian Education Formation (Chalice), and A Christian Educator’s Book of Lists.