In viewing education through the lens of discipleship, a clear understanding of the purpose of interventions in education emerges. In general, interventions in education include the steps teachers and/or institutions take to remove barriers to students’ learning. Similarly, discipleship is about following Jesus and walking with others to help them come to Christ, and yes, in some cases, a disciple-maker must help others overcome obstacles that stand in the way of their path to Christ.
As a Winebrenner instructor in the Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling program, I understand the importance of modeling the characteristics of a disciple-maker both in and outside of the classroom. In both cases, interventions help students overcome obstacles that impede their progress through their graduate programs.
Interventions are uniquely designed to meet the individual needs of each student. Honestly, interventions can be so simple yet so meaningful and powerful. A few examples of interventions that I have used as an instructor include:
- Calling students on the phone to answer questions and talk through papers and assignments (as opposed to simply communicating through email),
- Offering students opportunities to resubmit papers and assignments in order to help students learn from suggestions and constructive remarks,
- Providing “verbal” options to complete assignments as opposed to only submitting written work,
- Understanding the demands of graduate students’ personal lives and being flexible to help students succeed,
- Meeting with students outside of class settings to better understand their unique interests, goals, and needs, and
- Encouraging students to use their God-given gifts and experiences to answer His unique calling upon their lives.
Discipleship requires the establishment of relationships to teach and encourage others to follow Christ. Similarly, effective teaching is founded upon understanding the unique needs of students and creating intervention to help them achieve at their highest levels. Strong relationships help guide instructors to create intervention plans which remove barriers and equip leaders for service in God’s Kingdom.
– Dr. Mary Iiames, Assistant Professor, Clinical Counseling