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God, the Divine Teacher

A CONSOLATION: All was not lost, some 'work' did get done while i was at rest. During my four-day retreat in May, the thought 'God, the Divine Teacher' kept coming to mind. Even now, this still comes as i re-read Laurillard's paper Teaching As Mediating Learning which i finished yesterday. As she put it, "...teaching is a rhetorical activity: it is mediated learning, allowing students to acquire knowledge of someone else's way of experiencing the world."

Each evening, in accordance with the Ignatian spiritual exercise, my spiritual director (SD) would give me four recommended passages to pray over four hours the next day. The thought came on the third day when my SD was listening very attentively to what i was telling him about my prayer experience -- the thoughts and feelings that came to mind while meditating or contemplating over the scripture passages. As usual, he has asked a few strategic questions in the beginning and was about to recommend readings for the next day at the end.

I SUDDENLY REALISED that in listening non-judgmentally and questioning/recommending strategically, my SD was using constructivist tactics to help me learn experientially from the scripture, my prayers and my past experiences. Only problem is: i had trouble 'getting into the scene' through the Ignatian contemplative prayer, where i'm supposed to imagine and feel myself present in the scene described in a scripture passage.

i saw that if i managed to do so, i would be able to learn affectively; then my future actions would proceed naturally from my heart, and not just my head. God knows that though i'm a basically Thinking type person, my feelings can sometimes and quite easily take control over me.

One thought led to another, and got linked to recent insights over these two years -- how i've conjectured that God has been teaching us mortals through a Problem-Based Learning and Experience-Based Learning approach all our lives. Now, it looks like through divine inspiration, saints like St Ignatius had came up with a constructivist method of helping one another growing spiritually hundreds of years ago. And prayer, as John Craghan put it in his book Psalms for All Seasons, "forces us to interiorize and reflect... allows us to think the thoughts of God, not of humans... [and] acknowledge that things can be otherwise and that we do make a difference."

It was truly amazing! God the Divine Teacher had been mediating our learning using constructivst methods for eons before academic study uncovered it only a few decades ago!

(imported from Blogger.com)

by tree#138680 on Wed Jun 11 03 8:20 am | profile



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