**This article was written by former Chapter Support Coach Tyler Drisko (University of New Hampshire AΞ, ‘14)
Some of the biggest accomplishments of Lambda Chi Alpha is that we have Associate Members and a wholesome Fraternity Education program. We were the first fraternity to introduce anything of the sort and continue to execute Fraternity Education to this day. Any member of Lambda Chi Alpha knows that Fraternity Education is crucial for a successful chapter/colony, but what’s the best way to do it? The Lambda Chi Alpha Learning Model is a structure for Fraternity Education to grow members as men, teach members to lead the chapter and to strengthen the bond of Brotherhood.
To understand what successful Fraternity Education looks like, we must have a clear understanding of its purpose. There are two main goals of Fraternity Education: to educate new members on how the fraternity is governed and to teach all members to live a life of personal growth, leadership, and service. To accomplish this, we need to separate Associate Member education from Fraternity Education sessions. Fraternity Education sessions should, for the most part, be education for the fraternity, not education about the fraternity. Without education focused on all members to grow as men, we would not be achieving our main ideal of ever-growing.
To educate our members on how to be better men, it’s best to avoid a lecture like so many other college classes. Rather than the traditional classroom-like education sessions, a different take on education is David A. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory. American Educational Theorist Kolb explains that, “learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” (Kolb, 1984, p. 38). The idea of the Experiential Learning Theory is having new experiences to gain new knowledge. With a variety of different experiences, a fraternity is a perfect environment to apply this Experiential Learning Theory.
The Lambda Chi Alpha learning model is based off Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory. There are four steps in the model—Experience, Reflect, Make Meaning and Share.
The learning model applies to both Fraternity Education & Associate Member education. A Fraternity Education session can either be an experience where members actively live out our Core Values or an experience where members are educated on a certain topic relevant to collegiate men. The first step of the model, Experience, is the main part of the education session. After the experience, the chapter members should have a discussion of how the experience went (Reflection), what they learned (Make Meaning), and how they can apply what they learned into their lives or the chapter (Share).
Because Fraternity Education sessions are focused on all members, Big Brothers should be responsible for the Reflect, Make Meaning, and Share parts of the learning model to educate our Associate Members. As an Associate Member attends different events for the Fraternity (chapter meeting, philanthropy event, etc.), the Big Brother can have a conversation with him about his Lambda Chi Alpha experience. The studies of Benjamin Bloom, an American Educational Psychologist, can illustrate how utilizing Big Brothers is the best avenue to educate our Associate Members. Bloom found that students who received one-on-one tutoring drastically improved their knowledge of a subject. Bloom calls this the two-sigma problem of how we can provide one-on-one tutoring in modern education.
The adoption of the Lambda Chi Alpha Learning Model into Fraternity Education may challenge a chapter/colony’s culture. It will also be difficult to adopt the Lambda Chi Alpha Learning Model if Fraternity Education looks different than the examples we have provided. To help implement a dynamic Fraternity Education program that will strengthen your chapter/colony from the ground up, contact your Chapter Support Coach for resources and help to create a new Fraternity Education program.
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