Scientifically proven didactic methods in adult education form the foundation of the Visión R.E.A.L. academic section.
The student cannot fail merely for lack of intellectual ability. If the student cannot master the material, it falls to the teacher to help him until he succeeds, giving private instruction if necessary. If the problem is lack of discipline in studies, this is a character question, not a didactic one and therefore comes to the attention of his mentor.
If a candidate leaves the program, it is only because he quits, or perhaps a character problem, not because he failed a course.
A time-gap occurs between the student's exposure to a subject and his true grasp of the subject. Moreover, another time lapse happens before the student actually incorporates it into his life.
That's why the teaching must proceed at the rhythm of the students relative to real life. The teacher therefore decides when the course is over. It is up to him to decide when the gap between learning and living is bridged. Passing a test is not the point.
In practice, if the system proceeds at a normal rate, a candidate for the office of elder can finish in 3 years. This presupposes one class a week, along the adequate time for him to develop a ministry.
Why so much time to prepare an elder? In Latin America, the lack of full-time pastors causes the church to depend more on its elders. Further, many Hispanics have few cultural antecedents in a Christian style and philosophy of leadership. Many have seen no other models than dictators, whether political or religious. This is where the absorption time principle comes into play.
Comparative studies among university students reveals that comprehension levels increase 50% if the student takes one course at a time. This is why we never allow students to study two subjects at once. Most students are laymen anyway and cannot dedicate time to more than one subject.
Inductive Methods/ Group Exercises
We give preference to methods that cause the student to draw conclusions on his own rather than lecture only and taking notes. For some Hispanic students, group exercises and analytical methods seem strange. These procedures are necessary, however, because we are preparing leaders, not academicians skilled at passing written exams.
A key missionary principle is the question, how can the nationals reproduce this program, using their own resources?
We answer the reproducibility question by making the teacher's manuals available to the students when they finish the course. By the time they finish, they will have the tools to reproduce the entire Visión R.E.A.L. among their own students if they wish. They need little more than a photocopier. They will also have the liberty to modify the system according to their own cultural distinctives.
And let these also first be tested... 1Tim.3:10
Students must develop a ministry while they study. This way, they are ordained because they are ministering, not in order to begin to minister. They must practice what they learn in class.
The nationals themselves administer the program and therefore have a sense of ownership of it. They have every right to add to the program if they wish.