Audiovisuals: How Important
The sense of hearing should always be conjoined with that of sight, and the tongue should be trained in combination with the hand. The subjects that are taught should not merely be taught orally, and thus appeal to the ear alone, but should be pictorially illustrated, and thus develop the imagination by the help of the eye. Again, the pupils should learn to speak with their mouths and at the same time to express what they say with their hands, that no study be proceeded with before what has already been learned is thoroughly impressed on the eyes, the ears, the understanding, and the memory.… If this be done, it is incredible how much it assists a teacher to impress his instructions on the pupil’s mind.

So said John Amos Comenius, a great Christian scholar who died in 1671. Comenius is recognized by many educational historians as the founder of the audiovisual emphasis. Strangely enough, three centuries later many teachers still attempt to communicate with little or no use of audiovisual aids.

Gene A. Getz says in Audiovisual Media in Christian Education (Moody, 1972), a book that no church should be without, “It is easy for a Bible student to understand why Comenius believed in the value of sensory experience in learning, for a study of the Word of God reveals that God and His appointed teachers made extensive use of visual instruction. Comenius in his biblical studies evidently discovered that the Old Testament and New Testament are rich in examples of how visual aids have been used in Jewish and Christian education.”

Getz takes pains to show in his book how both the theory and the philosophy of visual education are grounded in the Bible. God himself “illustrated,” with signs in the heavens and ...

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