Teaching and learning
Passionate is fast becoming one of my favorite blogs – and the graphics are great too! This post is no exception, it provides some great tips for trainers and teachers, and some great insights for anyone needing to communicate in general. The introduction goes like this:
I’m amazed (and more than a little disheartened) how many people believe that simply by virtue of their being skilled and knowledgeable in something, they’re implicitly qualified to communicate, mentor, teach, or train that thing. It devalues the art of teaching to think that because you’ve been a student, you can teach well. That because you’ve experienced learning, you can craft a learning experience.
The post then talks a little about the fact that people can be self taught:
nobody needs a PhD (or in most cases — any degree at all) in education or learning theory to be a good teacher. Just as there are plenty of great software developers and programmers without a CompSci degree. People can be self-taught, and do a fabulous job, for a fraction of the cost of a formal education, but they have to be motivated and they have to appreciate why it’s important
which I have definately found to be the case, although I have a 1st Class Honours in my first degree and a Masters, I have never considered these qualifications indicative of my ability to do real work and I have been awed by many others less well qualified than I am. My brother is incredibly intelligent and yet left school at 16 bored and demotivated and one of my friends – the best programmer I know – doen’t have a degree for example. My brothers company did sponsor him part time to go back to University much later, (he got a 1st too) but he was already successful by then.
Then for the tips, (more details are in the post):
- Know the difference between “listening” and “learning”.
- Know how the brain makes decisions about what to pay attention to, and what to remember.
- Know how to apply what you learned in #2. In other words, know how to get your learners to feel.
- Know the wide variety of learning styles, and how to incorporate as many as possible into your learning experience.
- Know the fundamentals of current learning theory!
- Know why–and how–good advertising works.
- Know why–and how–good stories work.
- Know a little something about “the Socratic method”. Know why it’s far more important that you ask the good questions rather than supply all the answers.
- Know why people often learn more from seeing the wrong thing than they do from seeing the right thing. Know why the brain spends far less time processing things that meet expectations, than it does on things that don’t.
- Know why it’s just as important to study and keep up your teaching skills as it is to keep up your other professional skills. Yes there ARE professional organizations for trainers, with conferences, journals, and online discussions.
- Know why using overhead slides to deliver a classroom learning experience can–sometimes (often)–be the worst thing you can do.
- Know how — and why — good games can keep people involved and engaged for hours. Learn how to develop activities that lead to a Flow State.