I created a workshop series for multiple professional development sessions for a school district. There will be four categories of workshops: Google, Microsoft, Web 2.0 and Inclusion Classrooms. Each workshop (depending on the audience and interest) is designed to have breakout sessions after the initial workshop. All sessions will be nonformal settings of learning but will also incorporate some informal and formal opportunities as well.
There are examples of behaviorist, humanist,cognitive, social cognitive, constructivist and and integrative learning theories throughout my workshops.
Behaviorist will be seen as learning becomes a change in observable behavior. As we see in our own students, confusion and frustration occur because of lack of understanding. Often times with parents and teachers, this can be the same case. Parents might not be able to help students with homework because of lack of knowledge in regards to technology, and without proper training, the same can occur for teachers (especially since students are so tech-savvy). Once we target the areas that lack knowledge, parents and teachers will be able to assist their students in ways that they were not able to before and the confusion and frustration that prevented them from being able to help will disintegrate (change in behavior).
Humanism will occur as faculty/staff/parents can decide what workshops they would like to attend (workshops of course required for faculty but the open option to parents will be presented). Choice should allow them to have an open and positive attitude and will allow for growth and development. As Carl Rogers pointed out, the teacher will be the facilitator of self-directed learning which is what I plan to do for my attendees.
Cognitivism will shift the locus of learning from the environment/whole person to the mental process (learning new things: input throughput, output) which will allow for the building blocks of these skills to become foundational. Once I can lay the basic bricks of learning for the audiences of these workshops, they will be able to expand on the buildings they wish to create.
We see social cognitivism with the audiences observing me and other administrators performing the workshops. By observing us, they will acquire knowledge, rules, skills, strategies, beliefs and attitudes towards the topics that are being taught. Like Bandura points out: the person, the process of learning and the environment are all interactive and even reciprocal.
Constructivism will be foundational for these workshops. Learning will be the construction of meaning from the experience, knowledge will be constructed by the learners as they attempt to make sense of their experience, and the collection of the different perspectives (all of which share common assumption that learning is how people make sense of their experience) will aid these adults in the process of andragogy.
Knowles' six assumptions AND his six step process to self-directed learning will be foundational for the effectiveness of these workshops. The people attending should be: self-directed, have a readiness to learn (which will be related to the developmental tasks of social roles; parent, teacher, etc.), possibly might be more problem centered than subject centered (parent not able to help student create PowerPoint), driven by internal motivation, and knowledgable of the reason for learning. It will mostly be my job as the facilitator to: make sure the climate setting has an atmosphere of mutual respect and support, diagnose the learning needs, formulate learning goals, identify human and material resources for learning, choose and implement appropriate learning strategies and evaluate the learning outcomes. These can be proven by multiple activities such as: showing me the new skills that have been acquired, creating lesson plans for the classroom that implement the new skills learned from the faculty, feedback based on learning experience, and hosting discussions/reflections after the workshops. It would be fantastic to see examples of transformative learning come from these workshops, and these are designed to foster that type of learning in the daily lives of the attendees.
I think something very interesting for the faculty would be having them take the Learning Style Inventory by Kolb before these workshops and then having them take them again after the course of the sessions to see if any changes occurred. It would be a fantastic basis for a professional development session and could aid the faculty and administration to even see if they way that they teach or interact follow their strengths and weaknesses of the LSI. In addition to this concept, dabbling with intelligence would be insightful as well. I found the many concepts of intelligence by Spearman, Thurstone, Catell/Horn, Gardner, Sternberg, Kahneman, and Goleman so intriguing and would like to experiment with the faculty/admin. and have them perform an intelligence survey and examine their thoughts on the way they function professionally based on these different ideas.
Overall, the abundant amount of information that I have learned from this class has tied itself into every aspect of my life, both personally and professionally. Teaching with the intention of eventually educating college students really aided in the absorption of the different concepts I have learned, and now I do not think I will be able to look at learning the same way again. My hope is that through not just these workshop sessions, but within my teaching methods, I will be able to spread the knowledge of learning to those that are driven and even those who are not.
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