Module 6 - The Three Stages of Action Domain

Teachers’ Seminar

Module 6: Three Stages of the Action Domain

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this module the learner will be equipped to:

  1. List the three stages of the action domain.
  2. Describe the major factor that influences change in attitude and behavior.
  3. Identify teaching practices that foster growing involvement in living a life of love and action.

Three Stages of the Action Domain

The end goal of spiritual teaching is to produce growth in love. This love results in fruits, or acts of service. It is often taken for granted, however, that class members will put into practice what they learn. Many teachers are most frustrated by lack of behavior change in the lives of class members. The true teacher above all else desires for his/her students to learn life’s great lesson of unselfish service (see Education, p. 30).

There are three developmental stages in the action domain.

  1. A person begins to learn new actions by imitating others.
  2. The person then starts to practice on their own.
  3. Eventually the person develops a habit of living a life of unselfish love.

Imitation

Surveys have repeatedly shown that one of the main factors reported to have triggered change in the life of a person was the presence of a dynamic person who practiced what they preached. Educators have long known the powerful influence for change through modeling. Effective modeling begins when the class member (disciple) is drawn into a relationship with a caring teacher (disciple-maker). The learner then begins to value what their mentor values, identifies with him/her, and begins to live life in the same manner. Cognitive information and understanding play a role in bringing about change, but the most effective change takes place through the influence of people. This is why it is so important for the teacher to be filled with a spirit of love and kindness and to teach in a winsome and loving manner.
 

“A correct Christian character exemplified in the daily life will do a great work in the character building of your class, more, far more, than all your teachings and oft-repeated lessons. God has so related us individually to the great web of humanity that unconsciously we draw from others, with whom we are brought in contact, their ways, practices, and habits” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, pp. 98, 99).
 

The teacher can begin by modeling understanding and application of the lesson. This is communicated by way of experiences shared. “Every Sabbath school worker who has passed from death unto life through the transforming grace of Christ will reveal the deep moving of the Spirit of God upon his own heart” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 91).
 

Of Jesus it is said: “What He taught, He lived. ‘I have given you an example,’ He said to His disciples; ‘that ye should do as I have done.’ . . . And more than this; what He taught, He was. . . . Not only did He teach the truth, but He was the truth. It was this that gave His teaching power” (Education, pp. 78, 79). The apostle Paul said, “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9, KJV).
 

Practice and Habit

The following inspired words underscore the power of example:
 

“A correct Christian character exemplified in the daily life will do a great work in the character building of your class, more, far more, than all your teachings and oft-repeated lessons. God has so related us individually to the great web of humanity that unconsciously we draw from others, with whom we are brought in contact, their ways, practices, and habits” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, pp. 98, 99).
 

Best Method for Teaching Action

In a small group setting Christians learn to practice the Christian life from one another and from the class, as a laboratory for life. This is why Sabbath School Action Units have been so successful for some classes. In this model, class members share freely concerning their ministries as well as their experiences in daily living. Members are discipled by a care coordinator or teacher and by learning from one another.
 

Class members will better comprehend the Bible if they are sharing what they learn with others. “If we improve the light given us of God by diffusing it to others, we shall have increased light” (Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 215). “Let every teacher and scholar ask, ‘What can I do that can be counted as good service to Him who has died that I might live?’ The Master gives this answer, ‘Seek and save that which is lost’” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 69).

Many teachers draw back from soul winning, thinking they are fulfilling the great gospel commission by teaching the lesson. Teaching is only one gift of the Spirit, however, and many other gifts can be discovered and employed.

Seminar Evaluation

Evaluate your understanding and application of the lesson by completing this form.

If you wish to have your class members reflect upon your skills, ask members to anonymously complete a copy of this form and either mail it to your home in a self-addressed envelope that you provide or leave the sealed envelope in the church office for you to pick up.
 

On a scale of 1-10, the teacher:
 

1. Manifests an understanding of how to teach to the three levels of learning in the action domain.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

2. Models understanding and application of the Sabbath School lesson.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

3. Draws class members into a loving relationship.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

4. Finds that class members identify with and begin to imitate him/her in applying biblical principles.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

5. Finds that his/her values are reflected in the lives of class members.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

6. Shares experiences of practical application of the lesson.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

7. Lives what he/she teaches.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

8. Facilitates a sharing among members so that members draw from one another positive ways, practices, and habits.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

9. Disciples class members in ministries, according to each person’s spiritual gifts.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

10. Fosters ministries of love by teaching with an awareness of how to teach faith development.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

11. Does not coerce or force actions, but allows example, sharing, and the fruit of the Spirit to inspire and instruct ministries.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
 

Score ____. Total the numbers circled or marked from each response. Possible points: 110.


James Kilmer
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists