Posted by: arieliondotcom | October 25, 2008

Clash of Learning Designs & the Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation can be seen as a clash of learning designs with the Roman Catholic Curch.  The Roman Catholic Church and those in authority within it (more of this in the Power discussions of next week) saw the Gospel as something to be taught “from the top down”, through the priests and monks, through limited access to the written Scripture, and through strict adherence to the adherence of procedures (in order to receive sacraments, etc.)  It can be likened to the classic examples of a teacher keeping a strong hold on what connections students make in a classroom and how, and trying to force the flow of information in one direction (from the authority figures to the people).  The irony is that the order of the Jesuits was founded upon the principles of reaching foreign nations and adapting their customs and languages to reach them.  But over time this changed and the restrictive style set in.

The Protestant Reformation can be seen (as some in the CCK08 class are experiencing) as a revolutionary learning design model.  They sought to make connections on the “grass root” level, among each other and through the common people, using common language, including the cultures and languages of those they approached in Christian Missions with the Gospel (using the language of the native people, including providing an alphabet and written language for them if they had none of their own).  They were, in effect, carrying on where the Roman Catholics (especially the Jesuits) had started, but as the Roman Catholic practices began to be more and more restrictive, the Protestant methods of more open connections began to come into conflict with them.

This clash of learning designs can be illustrated in the two drawings below.

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