Some time ago, I commented on someone else’s Facebook post. It was an innocent comment about letting my children grab books from the library. I made the comment and forgot about it. But, months – yes, months – later, I was drawn back to the post when a complete stranger replied to my comment. It was a simple response:
That’s all it said. But the meaning was very clear. I would be a bad mother if I allowed my children to choose a new fiction favorite. I would be a bad teacher if I dared think they could learn from fiction.
Yes, I read all of that into this stranger’s simple response. Why? Because I’d heard the argument many, many times before.
Beyond What We Love
A quick response popped into my head. I wanted to make some comment about how sad it was that this stranger had never had the joy of learning from a fictional story. But, something stopped me. And as I took a moment to breathe and think, my irritation was replaced with sadness as two thoughts came to my mind.
Today, I want to share the first of those thoughts.
It is true that learning through story – whether fiction or non-fiction – can be incredibly joyful. But this stranger’s comment led me to realize just how often we dismiss forms of teaching that are not natural to us, simply because we do not learn well through them.
Several dear friends of mine greatly dislike fiction. It holds no allure for them. In fact, their minds simply do not process through story. Yet, they still recognize story as a powerful teaching tool. I, on the other hand, struggle with non-fiction that is not story-based. My mind needs a picture to take raw facts and turn them into something meaningful. Yet, I know that there is great value in learning to process factual information. So, I challenge myself to read non-fiction.
Learning happens in so many ways, yet we often get so caught up in our own learning preferences that we neglect – or even deny – all others. Then we criticize those who do not learn our way.
Every single time I have a “what works for me” thought, I am instantly reminded that it will not automatically work for my husband or my children or my dearest of friends or my fellow church members or my co-workers. If we all learned the same way, how boring would that be?!
So, what works for me? Learning through story and through narrative while stretching and challenging myself through non-fiction.
What works for you?