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How Adults and Youth Learn

J. Dennis Miller, president of Church Youth Development states that a problem with educating young people in the church stems from a failure to understand how young people learn. He claims that adults learn in the following pattern:

1. acceptance of absolutes;

2. subordination of attitudes and actions to absolutes;

3. application of truth received to life experience.

Knowing something as an adult is based primarily upon remembering information and intellectual learning. Youth, Miller contends, learn in a different way:

1. evaluation of life experience;

2. discovery of attitudes and actions which validate their life experiences;

3. identifying truth based on their relevance to life experience;

4. acceptance of truths that prove reliable from life experience. Life experience is the main influence on the learning young mind.

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