Training Overview

If I were teaching content to a group of teachers who knew absolutely nothing about the topic, I might be tempted to lecture as my audience would be dependent on me to provide information.

Yet, when working with adults, it is rare to find an audience with such a collective lack of knowledge. Adult learners bring a vast range of experiences to a training, so I incorporate a variety of training modalities and, in fact, minimize the time spent lecturing. I also invite the participants to rent rather than immediately own the ideas I am offering during the time we are together. I design experiences for them to play with those ideas and discover what might be useful because I understand that adult learners are self-directed. They can also be set in their ways because they have been at it longer. I work with that quality as well by valuing and validating what they have been doing as teachers. I encourage a climate of collaboration.

Adult learners are more receptive to learning experiences when they recognize a need to know or do something more effectively. I make it a point to assist the participants to assess where they are now and where they want or need to be. Built into the learning experiences are collegial discussions with partners or small groups: teachers teaching each other. I also plan and facilitate field experiences where teachers practice their learning among students in a colleague’s classroom. As I coach the teachers during the debriefing, a valued learning experience unfolds because it is immediate and relevant.