How U, I and the 4H's can make a difference
by Dr Jean Carter
How U, I and the 4H's can make a difference - Applying good educational principles to your own life
There is a very old and well worn tale that tells of a young man and his friend walking along a storm damaged beach. The beach is strewn with seaweed, driftwood, damaged shells and many, many stranded starfish. As the pair walk along the young man bends down, picks up a starfish that has been stranded and throws it back into the ocean. After he has done this a few times his friend asks, 'Why bother throwing the starfish back in the water? There are so many of them stranded it won't really make a difference.' The young man picked up another starfish and responded, 'I may not make a big difference to the starfish on the beach, but to the starfish I have thrown back, I have made a real difference'.
Each one of us wants to make a difference in our world. Some make grandiose plans that are unattainable and others feel their impact is so small it makes no difference at all. Some people do a lot of talking about making a difference but then never actually get around to doing anything while others jump into 'saving the world' without really understanding what needs to be saved.
Fisher (2010) in her book 'Developing a Faith-based Education' suggests that one of the best ways to teach a bible lesson to primary aged students is to use a multisensory learning approach which she has labelled the 4H approach:
4H Teaching Strategy for Biblical Studies
- History (listening and discovering)
- Head (learning and knowing)
- Heart (loving and responding)
- Hand (living and giving)
She believes that by giving the students a little history and factual information, they will then be able to better internalise the values and principles being taught, and respond more effectively.
Whether you have big or small plans to make a difference in our world the 4H approach is an excellent framework to apply:
- Firstly it is important to listen and understand the History of why things are like they are. Maybe there is reason why some things cannot and should not be changed.
- Then it is important to gather all the information you can so that you are knowledgeable about your project (Head).
- Once you have a good understanding and knowledge then you can respond in a loving and empathetic way (Heart).
- However it is the final H, Hand, that makes the difference happen. You can have all the information and have great empathy BUT if you do not also get up and DO something about the problem, then you will never make a difference.
So whether U want to make a difference by helping the Haitian Earthquake victims or I by helping in my local neighbourhood, using the 4H approach is a good framework to follow.
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