Evaluating Teaching Essay
I thoroughly enjoyed both approaches. Both of them in their own way were beneficial and proved to be effective for teaching and communicating in a way that can promote learning. I honestly appreciate aspects about both methods and believe both can be very useful; however, I felt more comfortable with Andy Stanley’s MWGYW approach, mainly due to the easy flow of communication it presents. I found it to be much simpler to understand from a development standpoint and especially after implementation; I strongly believe it is the clearest approach in order for presentation and for understanding.
The MWGYW approach generates the most thought, connection and emotional reaction that will prompt a life-changing decision. I feel the transparency of this approach and how the teacher can initially be vulnerable but use that to their advantage in order to promote learning is outstanding. I truly connected to this aspect because this is the approach that I often employ into my messages. As Stanley, I believe that work from your own emotions and experience is imperative to the message you are delivering. The learners want to see our heart integrated into the material.
Stanley mentions, “I go out of my way to lay my humanity and frailty out on the front of the stage. Doing so tears down walls. Besides, if you preach from your weakness, you will never run out of material” (Stanley, 124). This was valuable insight for me as I am always looking to improve the presentation of my messages that I teach and preach. I believe allowing myself to “come out of my box” and be more transparent and real will definitely improve aspects of my style and method of teaching the word of God.
They both can offer high levels of learning; however, the HLBT approach is more resource driven than the MWGYW approach and can offer more of an academic perspective; whereas the latter draws from personal perspective and sparks and emotional response. Honestly after learning about both approaches and utilizing them in preparing lessons, I feel they both could work together and produce the same if not better results. They both have common similarities; for example, the “hook” phase of the HLBT approach can be structured to resemble the “Me” phase of Andy Stanley’s process.
The “hook” can also utilize a personal experience or testimony that can powerfully connect with the learning audience and establish an immediate connection. In the book Richards offered examples of visual media or technology in order to provide the “hook;” however, anything can be effective as long as it gets the students attention and urges them to continue to listen. Andy Stanley talks about how there is nothing more powerful than someone’s testimony and the ability to preach on their weaknesses.
This human emotional angle can be the most effective way to “hook” the students because we all drawn to stories of humanity and emotion because we can relate, understand and in-turn apply it to our own lives. Similarities are also found in the “look” and “took” phases in comparison to the “you” and “we” phases in the MWGYW approach. In the “look” phase the focus is primarily on the individual and their ability to look not only at the material just covered with the “book” phase but to look intently within themselves and discuss how the material relates to them and share with the group what it looks like to them.
It is also an opportunity to for the student to share more in-depthly in regards to their own situation in order that they may receive feedback from the teacher and the other students. This is a vital strength that the HLBT approach has; whereas, the MWGYW not so much. The MWGYW approach takes more of an indirect approach as the “you” phase searches to think through various stages of life in order to cover the right application for the many people that may be present in the audience or the church.
This indirect approach is necessary due to the nature of the presentation being more like a Preacher behind a pulpit rather than a Professor sitting in a chair in a small room interacting individually with each student. Stanley contributes, “by taking the time to think through each of these (applications), on your own you will surface some angles that you might have otherwise missed. ” The main area however where the both approaches differ is with the “book” phase found in the third step of the HLBT approach.
This phase is definitely a huge strength because it incorporates outside resources that support the overall process. This approach not only focuses on academic resources but primarily on the biblical text. On the other hand with the MWGYW approach a more indirect and conversational approach is taken. This is a for sure weakness for Stanley’s method from a biblical perspective. Richards’s states, “In the book section the teacher seeks to clarify the meaning of the passage being studied. In this part of the teaching-learning process, the teacher helps his students get and understand the biblical information. ”
Even though Stanley’s process does incorporate the biblical text in the “God” phase, I do not feel it is directly presented as it is in the HLBT method. It seems the teacher has the flexibility to do what they want in the “God” phase whether than being directed and required to do so. Stanley implores to use the biblical text because it is the meat and no skimp on the Scripture. However, weakness to this approach is ushered in by ambiguity when he states, “on the other hand, you don’t want to bog down in the text. This is where sermons lose momentum and get boring. ” HLBT’s greatest strength is its interactive and informative style.
The method’s greatest weakness is that its informative presentation could overwhelm the students or audience and take away any connection that may have been present. The MWGYW approach is more deductive and structured offering one way communication, often found in the preacher to church congregation relationship. This can be labeled as a weakness; however, Stanley gives a great deal of latitude with this approach in order for the teacher to modify his approach as he goes all while using the acronym MWGYW as a guide to stay focused on the main point that was introduced in the beginning.
Stanley’s greatest strength is found in the “me” phase where the speaker has the unique ability to connect with his listeners on many different levels. From this point the outcome of how the students listen and respond to the overall message could hinge on how the speaker initially connects in the beginning. So, in other words this aspect could be the weakness and the strength of the presentation depending all upon the presenter. In conclusion, as I mentioned in the beginning I believe both approaches are very useful for teaching and maybe could even be used together.
Overall, I find the MWGYW method more useful in my style of teaching and presentation. I struggle to find my comfort level with the HLBT approach in a classroom type environment. This is mainly due to the fact that I have had more experience behind the pulpit than in the classroom. I plan to immerse myself more in this type of environment in order to become more familiar and comfortable. I am excited to employ the MWGYW approach in to my sermon presentation. I feel this approach bests suits me and the way I present the material.
I fell more comfortable with this approach and thus far it seems to help me stay on point all while covering all the necessary basis of the message. When utilizing the MWGYW approach in my next speaking engagement, I plan to really focus on the “we” phase and properly integrate it into the message. In the past I have rarely brought in this aspect; especially in the way that Stanley did so in his book. I am thankful for this study of the various ways of presentation and application and look forward to practicing and implementation for years to come in the ministry God has called me to.