This lesson introduces the core learning objectives relative to “Apply adult learning theory and best practices into professional development planning”
Source: Globe, Clker, http://bit.ly/1CVSonk; Thinking Person, Clker, http://bit.ly/1EmDSQV; Thinking Man, Pixabay, http://bit.ly/1IRTL98; Survey Monkey, http://svy.mk/KgyJFr; Socrative, http://bit.ly/1in2kcZ; Google Forms, http://bit.ly/1cktQlK; Poll Everywhere, http://bit.ly/19R0MY5; Garage Door, Provided By The Author
Hello there and welcome. It's great of you to be here. My name is Gino Sangiuliano and I will be your instructor as we navigate our way through these lesson about applying adult learning theory and best practices to professional development planning. Whether you're a teacher, administrator, or, like me, both, we are all adult learners. We will cover a great deal in this unit about how to evaluate your current professional development practices, as well as how to gather useful information from the adults you work with about professional development wants and needs.
Let's take a few moments and preview some of the key elements found in the learning objectives. But first, I sometimes like to begin my lessons with a short story or an anecdote to provide you with some background information or a different perspective. I want to share a learning experience I recently had. My garage door opener was broken and it was time for a new one. It had been installed by a professional when we moved into our house. I decided to go buy a new one and my wife was going to call an installer.
As I was checking out, the man at the register casually said, "this should take you only a couple of hours to install." "What? I can do it myself?" I called my wife and said, let's save some money and I'll install it. She wasn't crazy about the idea but she conceded. After 6 long hours, the moment of truth arrived and I pushed the button. The sound of the motor hummed, but the belt was turning the wrong way. I knew exactly what I had done wrong and in about an hour, I had it up and running.
Adult learning theories will be a big part of this unit. You will learn about self-directed and transformational learning, for example. There will also be a focus on andragogy and the name Malcolm Knowles. I will demonstrate how to check for alignment between professional development practices and his six principles, or assumptions, of adult learning theory listed here. For example, how as we get older, our social role changes. We become ready to learn new things, so to speak.
The garage door opener story is a great example of that. Many times as adults, it's a problem that can lead to great learning. You can look at the garage door opener story from this point of view, as well. But here's another example taken from the world of education. Imagine a first-year teacher struggling every day with classroom management. She certainly has a problem, so she gets help from her mentor, her administrator, and learns about better ways to structure her time and space. She learns because she needed to solve a problem.
Purpose is also an important part of why we learn. Oftentimes our students don't see the purpose and they say things like, why do we have to learn this? We roll our eyes as adults and tell them they just have to. Well, I've also heard adults say those exact words at professional development sessions. If we don't see a purpose, it makes it difficult to learn.
Before implementing a plan, you are going to want to know the wants and needs of the audience. And one way to do this is by surveying them. You will learn about some awesome digital tools that are available that will make this a cinch, like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, Poll Everywhere, and Socrative. These tools are efficient, easy to use, and free.
People want to share their opinions, but it's all in the way you ask the questions. We will also look at how to create questions that will get you the information you are looking for two types being structured and unstructured. The information you get back, however, is only useful if you do something with it. That's why you will want to analyze that data. The results may confirm your initial perceptions, but they may also cause you to change your course of action.
For example, you may think that the staff needs support in writing instruction, however survey results tell you that that's not the case. You will also learn that in a professional learning community, making revisions to original plans is encouraged if those changes are supported by data. You will see, however, that these changes should never be made by individuals, but collaboratively by teams. I've seen many programs and initiatives fail because of poor cultures and attitudes.
Think about it. If you showed up for work one day and someone placed a new manual on your desk and said "figure it out," would you be on board? I've even tried to avoid this tact as a parent. If we tell our kids what we are doing, they're likely to balk at it. However, if we include them in the discussion, they're usually on board. Nobody likes to feel left out, especially when decisions made affect them.
Reflection is a world that will come up again and again. People do this in different ways, but the important thing is that you do it. As you'll see, reflection is the tipping point when it comes to teacher growth and professional development. It's also a habit we want to impart to our students, as well. If you are unsure or afraid of how to do this by yourself, find a trusted colleague and do it collaboratively.
So here, once again, are some of the key learning objectives that will be covered. We'll look at how to evaluate and align professional development with adult learning theories. We'll cover the process of gathering information through surveys, from implementation to delivery to making revisions. And we'll talk many times about the role that reflection plays in all of this.
At the end of each lesson, there will be something I like to call food for thought. It's usually a statement to elicit some sort of connection to the topic or a question to get you thinking about it. Today's food for thought is to brainstorm a list of the most memorable PDs you've attended. Which were good, which were bad, and which were just plain ugly. Once again, welcome and good luck, and enjoy the learning.
(00:36-01:24) Garage Door
(01:25-02:38) Evaluation and Development
(02:39-03:37) Implementation and Delivery
(04:41-05:26) Food For Thought/Summary