a. Group brainstorm 20 minutes
The group brainstorms the major differences between teaching
children and teaching adults. Each participant writes down on a piece of paper
two things to remember when teaching children. Then, going around the room, each
person offers his/her suggestions as the trainer writes on a piece of newsprint.
Next, the participants think about past training programs they have liked, and
they write down two aspects of the program that made it successful for them (two
ways they like to be taught). These are listed on another piece of newsprint.
These charts are then moved to the side of the room.
Trainers notes: The participants know from their own
experience how they like to be taught and how this is perhaps different from the
way they might teach children; in other words the difference between andragogy
and pedagogy. The intent of the brainstorm is for them to begin to name for
themselves these differences so that the following theoretical section will
make more sense to them. If participants think that this is their
first training program, remind them of their CREST in the States.
Materials: newsprint, markers, tape
b. Lecturette 15 minutes
The trainer gives a lecturette on the basic principles of
andragogy based on A Trainers Guide to Andragogy by John Ingalls. As each
point is completed, the trainer displays the wall chart which graphically
illustrates that point.
What we have done la created two lists that highlight some of
the basic differences between teaching children and teaching adults. The
technical words to distinguish these are andragogy, a term that means adult
learning, and pedagogy or child learning. Looking at our lists we can begin to
see some of the differences between the two. Malcolm Knowles in his book The
Modern Practice of Adult Education identifies four basic concepts that are
central to adult learning. The first is self concept. Whereas the child is
dependent upon those around hi-/her, the adult acts autonomously in relation to
others. Adults are capable of being self directed, of being able to identify and
articulate what they want to learn in dialogue with the teacher. In pedagogy,
the teacher is in a directing relationship with the student; and in adult
education the teacher is in a helping relationship with the student.
The second concept is experience. With children, education is
often the one-way transfer of data and information from the teacher to the
student. This is not always appropriate for the adult learner who brings a
wealth of life experience and wisdom into the learning environment. In adult
education, the teacher is more often a facilitator in a mutual learning
environment. There is therefore a focus on experiential methods such as a-all
group activities, role playing, peer presentations, etc. The dichotomy between
teacher and student is replaced by a community of learners and teachers.
The third concept important for adult learning concerns the
students readiness to learn. In traditions: pedagogy, the teacher decides
what the students need to learn sad the curriculum is developed apart from the
learner. In andragogy though, the learner takes a much more active role in
deciding what will be taught and when. Adult education is more learner centered.
As noted before, adults are often able to identify what the learning needs that
arise from their social situation are. In adult education. it is important for
the adult learner that the content of educational program is directly related to
both their interests and life situations.
Lastly, there is a different orientation to learning for the
adult. Children have been conditioned to have a subject-centered orientation to
learning whereas adults tend to have a more problem centered orientation. The
difference is one of tire perspective. Children tend to focus attention towards
the future whereas adults are concerned with the present. Thus adult learners
are interested in learning how to solve the problems that they are experiencing
in their daily lives.
Trainers notes: The intent of the lecturette is to clearly
and concisely introduce the concept of andragogy and contrast it with pedagogy.
It is important that the participants are clear about the differences, for as
teacher trainers they are teaching adults information that is meant to help them
teach children. Use the wall chart to explain and expand the lecturette,
referring back to the brainstorm list or drawing examples from the group.
Materials: wall charts contrasting andragogy and pedagogy, tape
c. Discussion 10 minutes
The participants now relate the above theory to their own
experiences. Turn to the person next to you and spend the next ten minutes
talking about why it is important for teacher trainers to have an understanding
of these four basic aspects of adult learning.
Trainers notes: Let this be a chatty time as
people share stories with each other in pairs.
d. Learning styles exercise 30 minutes
The participants regather ant the trainer distributes the
learning styles exercise. Each person individually completes the exercise and
plots his/her results on the accompanying graph, using markers. When everyone
has finished, all the charts (without names) are taped to the board in the front
of the room. The group then discusses the results of the exercise.
- Here you surprised with the results of your chart? If so,
- What do you notice as you look at all the charts displayed up
- Why is it important for both trainers and learners to be aware of
the diversity of learning styles?
Trainers notes: It is important for the trainer to
emphasize that there are no wrong answers, or good or
bad learning styles. No one style is inherently better than another.
They are just different; and because they are different the trainer needs to be
flexible in order to continually adjust his/her training style and activities to
match the diverse learning styles of the trainees. If this exercise has already
been used with the participants during the CREST or pre-service training,
discuss here the four different learning styles outlined in session four (pages
34-35 of the Training Guide and page 70 of the Reference Manual.)
Materials: learning style exercise handouts (4 sheets; each),
e. Closing Reflection 10 minutes
The trainer leads a short group discussion on the session.
- When you think back on your teacher training or teaching
experiences. which points discussed this morning make the neat sense to
- What insights have you had into your own teaching or learning
- Hill your teaching be different in the future? How?
Trainers notes: This reflection is meant both to give
feedback to the trainer on the two sessions, and to allow the participants to
share their thoughts about what it means for them to be a teacher