[AAACE-NLA] Professional wisdom: part one (of a two partdiscussion)
elise.leonard at gmail.com
Sun Jun 29 16:34:36 EDT 2008
If we would truly like to do something constructive to help the adult ed
programs across our nation, how about asking the people IN the programs (and
those who NEED the programs) the following questions:
What do you need to learn?
What do you want to learn?
What are your goals for (and what outcome do you want to achieve by) doing
How long and how much time are you willing to invest in obtaining those
For those learners who are already IN a program, we need to ask them:
What did you feel was a waste of time?
What did you feel was beneficial?
As to HOW to teach the learners in adult ed programs:
We all learn differently. Some of us are visual learners and need to see
things. Some of us need to hear things. Some of us need to DO things in
order to learn. Many need a combination of techniques. As a former teacher,
I found that sometimes I had to teach, present or explain things 5, 6 or 7
different ways in order to get every learner in that particular class to
understand the lesson. In the next class, with the same topic but with
thirty different students, I had to find additional ways to teach the exact
same lesson to include the learning processes of those individually unique
Learning is not "one size fits all." To try to make it as such, or to
dictate an instruction method would, most likely, eliminate a huge portion
of the learners from learning.
If you'd like to be productive by being proactive, and if you'd like to try
to unify the adult ed programs across the nation, how about coming up with a
curriculum of what NEEDS to be taught. But please, please include the
learners' responses from the questions I posed at the beginning of this
Your program needs to be useful, relevant, and needs to offer positive
results that help the learner achieve his or her goals. (By "positive
results" I mean that the learner can now read, when before, he couldn't.)
The fact that many programs are still using materials dating back to the 70s
and 80s is inexcusable and ridiculous. (Not to mention boring, irrelevant
and a "turn off" for our learners.)
In my thirty years as a highly successful educator, I've found that
education is a lot like business. You have to give the consumer what he
wants, what he needs and what he likes... or he won't buy it!
elise.leonard at gmail.com
From: aaace-nla-bounces at lists.literacytent.org
[mailto:aaace-nla-bounces at lists.literacytent.org] On Behalf Of John Comings
Sent: Saturday, June 28, 2008 1:09 PM
To: National Literacy Advocacy List sponsored by AAACE
Subject: Re: [AAACE-NLA] Professional wisdom: part one (of a two
Janet referred to "intuition". I've also heard it referred to as the "art of
teaching", as in teaching is both a science and an art. Recently, I've been
thinking about it as the relationship between "a teacher and a student." I
like this because it brings the student in as an active player in judging
what type of instruction is useful and in adapting instruction to their
needs and personality. Another form of professional wisdom might be the
results of asking teachers and students to work together to judge the
effectiveness of research findings and to adapt them to their needs.
John P. Comings
25 Central Street
Auburndale MA 02466
john.comings at gmail.com
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