Participatory Training That Multiplies

Our aim in education is to produce changed individuals, who will change others, who, in turn, will change others. These individual changed lives result in changed families, changed communities, and ultimately in changed societies. An inward change must precede the outward change which is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

There are absolutes which need to be transmitted from generation- to-generation and people-to-people, by a guide. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, but the Word, prayer, fellowship, and witnessing form the environment in which He works.

Each student must be recognized as having infinite worth, because each was created by God. As such, it is essential that the student be an active participant in his own educational process. The use of open-ended dialogue is critical, however, there is right and wrong information which must be recognized and discussed.

Hands-on participation is a valuable learning tool, but intellectual stimulation is also important. Taking time to reflect on and process the information is also crucial, in order for full learning to take place.

Our training emphasizes joint learning and participation, involving both the trainer and learner. This method results in the CHE taking action on what he has learned and ensures the necessary skills and ability to do a good job. Our goal is for the learner to add the newly presented knowledge to his current knowledge base. Then he can reflect on and analyze this information, and decide to act on the knowledge. This decision leads to positive action by the learner.

The participatory process requires that the training be centered on the learner and helps them in the process of self-discovery, which leads to action. This process is fostered by posing problems to the learner, enabling them to draw out of his experience and then to build on it.

All methods and materials must be transferable from the trainer to the learner. Picture booklets are used to summarize what has been learned and then can be used by the learner to help them fully and accurately transfer his knowledge to others.

Meeting Learner Needs
The following points should be considered in meeting the adult learner’s needs, in order to affect true transfer of knowledge:
• Reaffirm the adult’s sense of self-worth by helping them to succeed in the learning process.
• Become partners in learning (not one dominating the other). This means we
need to change the relationship between the learner and the teacher.
• Help the learner take more responsibility for his own learning.
• Concentrate on what is life-changing versus transmission of knowledge only.
• Help the learners to develop their knowledge base in a logical sequence, allowing them to build on the
circular process.
• Portray an example of the desired change by modeling the anticipated result before the student.
• Simplify material which is to be shared and make it practical.
• Carry out training at the lowest possible level. It is best to train people with an average education
according to the level of their village, who will likely remain in the village.
• Train people to do a job. The materials used for training should be selected on a “need to know and
use” basis, so trainees can accomplish an objective, rather than simply accumulate head knowledge.
Focus on “doing” things such as role-plays, songs, demonstrations, and stories which build
• Start where the people are in their understanding. Use small group interaction to draw upon
knowledge already possessed by the learners.
• Provide training first in subjects which are of highest priority to the trainees.
• Teach trainers to pass on everything they are teaching so their trainees will be equipped to train
others who in turn will train others.
• Utilize locally available materials which can be understood and used by all. Guidebooks or training
materials should be simple and involve as much learner participation as possible.

What we are after is learners being able to immediately apply what they have just learned in a very practical way. This helps builds retention and leads to the content and skills being shared in such a way that others can also teach it.

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