May 29, 2014

6 Learning Trends You Need to Know About

Learning trends for kids are shifting.  Here's 6 you need to know about if you want to be effective in teaching today's kids.

1. The student-centered learning experience.
The focus is shifting from the teacher to the students.  This is leading to more inquiry and experiential learning methods.

Takeaway:  Children's Ministries must shift from lecture-based to learner-based curriculum.

2. The soaring numbers of digital learners. 
The number of kids participating in classroom learning is shrinking while the number of kids learning online is growing.  In 2009 there were 450,000 online students.  Today there are nearly 4 million.

Takeaway:  Children's Ministries must think about providing online worship experiences and learning programs for kids.  The adult world has obviously done this with online worship services but the children's ministry world has yet to crack this. 

3.  Building higher order thinking skills – students are required to look at information more critically rather than just trying to memorize what is presented to them in class.

Takeaway:  Children's Ministries must teach beyond the facts and teach kids to evaluate, analyze, understand and apply truth. 

4. A personalized learning approach.

Takeaway:  Children's Ministries must teach using all learning styles.   Using only lecture-based teaching alienates a large percentage of kids.

5. Productive gamification.  Games are used to teach.

Takeaway:  Children's Ministries must continue to use games to help kids learn.

6. Students have personal access to mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and digital reading devices trump desktop.

Takeaway:  Children's Ministries must be willing to shift from print to digital including the Bible.


As much as I agree that the church, including children's ministry, should stay relevant, I think that we need to be very careful at following the world. There are some excellent suggestions in this article. Getting children to think critically about the Bible is something I think is very lacking and very important. I think more kids would keep the faith if they knew why they believed. However I'm not sure that the Bible has to be made digital or rather that digital resources have to be used. I'm not against it but kids do still have story time at school with paper books! I think that there is something so special about a paper book that is lost with digital versions. I also find that the kids I work with engage at least as well with paper stuff if not better. I don't want to judge or put one format above another but I do think that paper copies have their place :)

Great insight and thoughts Hannah. Thank you for sharing with us.

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