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Development of the SEE and KNOW Series

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The concepts of SEE and KNOW began in 1963 when we observed a cradle roll class in Amarillo, Texas. We did a lot of research and correspondence with university professors who were doing some experimentation in infant learning. Research confirmed the lines of development we were pursuing – lots of singing, repetition, visuals suitable to the age group, etc. We were concentrating on infants, from birth to 2 years of age. 

Because we observed that undesirable habits and attitudes were very difficult to change as we taught primary students, and even more difficult in junior high students, it was especially interesting to read articles in the early 60's about attitudes and habits being formed as early as the first few days of life.

As research articles continued showing how the infant can learn, it became apparent that the easiest way for a child to develop desirable habits and attitudes was to keep the undesirable ones from developing. To start and encourage only desirable habits as early in life as possible became one goal. Actions that are "cute" when children are very small may be totally unacceptable and a hindrance to learning in grade school and even more destructive as they grow older.

After receiving research reports and correspondence from several research teams confirming and increasing our ideas, we began using knowledge from these reports to teach basic Bible facts and attitudes in our infant Bible classes.

Also in the early 60's, we had observed babies in a classroom situation in Amarillo, Texas. Joan Parsons (a nursery attendant), and Palma Smiley (an educator) teamed up to do what they had observed about training and teaching infants.

From the infants themselves, we learned many, more effective ways to communicate. Singing what we wanted them to hear proved to be the best way to get attention and response. From experts on memory retention we learned that not only do infants respond to singing, but also it increases retention.

Memory experts and research teams also pointed out the value of consistency, repetition and orderliness in material presented for learning.

As we began evaluating and choosing what to teach these very open-minded infants, and knowing we could be developing life-long habits and attitudes, it became a very awesome responsibility. We had already observed how very wrong and changeable man’s methods could be.

Believing that the Creator always knows what is best for the created, we began searching in the Bible for methods as well as facts to teach infants. This search led to some major revisions in our thinking, which had been influenced and limited by man’s books.

Our basic goal became to introduce knowledge that would serve as a foundation for all other knowledge acquired later. This foundation became knowledge of God, His plan, awareness of His care, and His awesome love that sent Jesus to earth as a tiny baby. It included the knowledge of Jesus’ love and desire for us to accept the respond positively to His invitation to come to Him, and use our lives for Him.

To accomplish this goal, a lesson plan outline developed, which was orderly and provided a balance of repetition and variety. Always, we watched for more effective methods to accomplish our goal. Because of the on-going learning process, we needed a way to present materials and procedures that was not “locked-in.” Therefore, each procedure and song was placed on a separate card. About 30 – 40 procedures, arranged in an order, make up a complete lesson plan. This made it possible for teachers to choose and arrange suitable procedures into a lesson plan for their specific student’s needs. It makes it possible to easily add new procedures or replace less useful ones without totally demolishing and re-organizing the lesson plan.

Infants understand literal (not symbolic) descriptions, so words were carefully chosen to describe the basic knowledge we wanted to teach. Then tunes, which emphasize key words of facts, concepts and attitudes, were added because singing increased attention. The song procedures, when arranged in the logical order of a story and repeated often, produced the orderliness and repetition that increased understanding and memory of the material presented.

Visual illustrations of words in each of the procedures were necessary to identify objects and meanings. Needing to choose illustrations which identified God’s creation and principles as accurately as possible, we again looked to the Scriptures to find methods.

God used His creation (things from nature) to teach men. (See Job 12:7-10) The wise man, Solomon, used songs and illustrations from nature. (See 1 Kings 4:32,33) Jesus, the Master Teacher, used nature for many illustrations as He taught.

Babies are created with a natural curiosity about the world they see, so the obvious source of our visual aids and teaching tools became any observable part of God’s creation. From seeing God’s creation, they could learn to know God. Hence, our title from Isaiah 41:19,20 “. . . So that they may SEE and KNOW and consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this and the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

The answer to, “Why do we want to teach babies?” is that God made them in such a way that physically and mentally, they enter the world ready to learn about everything they are exposed to. They are not selective! It seemed right that God, His love, His world, His plan; Jesus, His love; and our grateful response to their love should be a part of the infant’s earliest experience and have at least equal time with all the worldly, insignificant things they are exposed to.

In an infant’s mind, whatever goes in stays in. So if “good” goes in, his mind will be filled with “good,” and if “bad” goes in, it will be filled with “bad.” Each responsible person must choose which they want for the infants they know and do everything possible to fulfill their responsibility to model and teach.

The SEE and KNOW series has been prepared with the hope that it can be useful to teachers and parents in teaching infants and children about God, and their relationship and responsibility to Him as willing, obedient servants of His.

Copyright © 2009-2012 DLW Publishing and Supply
Last modified: 09/11/12