I headed to Bloomsbury thinking about three things; first the example that Lord Putman gave during LILAC 2012 that if you put a “surgeon from 1912 and transport them to the operating theatre of today, they would be completely unable to participate in the work, only stand and stare. Whereas a teacher from the same period, transferred into today’s classroom, would more or less be able to teach a lesson using their skills from that time”*.
The second thought was about honesty. Adult learners want to be treated as adults and being honest with them is one of the ways to do so.
I also remembered that less than two weeks ago, I was reflecting on the personal qualities my good teachers possessed and remembered they would not try to hide their vulnerabilities, not even during their bad days.
Last but not least, I kept thinking of some fragments of Tara Brabazon’s keynote speech she gave during LILAC 2012. Tara posed to us a few questions, such as:
- What if less is more?
- What if fewer media create more meaning?
- What are the benefits of using our senses in a different way, to create alternative ways of thinking?
Tara also proposed a few strategies to achieve a “digital detox”, one of which was to reduce the dependency on learning materials that move through time and space.
In my case, what if the lack of PowerPoint (medium) makes them pay attention to what they hear instead of what they see, and engage with information in a different way?
What if the lack of presentation engages them in note-taking by selecting what is more important to them? Hearing Tara’s suggestions, I experienced conflicted emotions, because I knew that what she was saying is true but would these strategies be effective in adult learning? Would different sensory stimuli be able to cater for different learning styles?
(To be continued…)
* Note: The quote is coming from a transcribed recording from Lord Puttnam’s keynote speech.