Adventist Educators: Alternate Methods of Learning

   Andrews in the News | Posted on October 13, 2016

With a world to reach and win, Seventh-day Adventists are embracing alternate methods of educating children, young adults and even lifelong learners, delegates to the world church’s LEAD conference were told.

The Thursday afternoon discussion, moderated by Larry Blackmer, vice president for education with the church’s North American Division, included presentations on Adventists and homeschooling, urban education, online learning, and missionaries known as Waldensian students.

Blackmer noted a need for differing approaches in education.

“The status quo is not going to cut it in the 21st century,” he said.

Adam Fenner, who directs the center, said the number of people taking the online courses is “three times the enrollment of any Adventist university.”

He asserted that a world where information is changing so rapidly demands a strategic shift when it comes to learning.

“We have a leadership responsibility to communicate our vision and strategy and how to achieve that vision,” Fenner said. “If we are not constantly innovating, we won’t be able to keep up. We also have to empower people in ways we never thought of before.”

One of those empowerment means is a new entente between church educators and Adventist parents who homeschool their children, said Alayne Thorpe, dean for the School of Distance Education and International Partnerships at church-owned Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

“Ten or 15 years ago, homeschooling wouldn’t have been part of this conference,” Thorpe told LEAD delegates. “It’s a new day.”

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