Practical Tips from the School of Experience

I am not a trained educator. I don’t have a PhD in Education, or anything else for that matter. I have however, been a trainer for 20 years and have picked some practical tips in the school of experience.

Here are a few of my favourite items for your consideration:

Relationship: instructors should chat with learners before class; the more we know each other and make real contact, the more knowledge can transfer, questions can flow, and learning can occur.

Humour: we learn better when we are laughing, and it is more fun. Here is a scholarly article that showed “significant” improvement with humour.

Water: drinking water keeps the brain functioning. If the brain is even a little dehydrated, learning, attention, and memory are all depleted. See this Psychology Today blog for a good article on this.

Questions: a key to learning is dialogue. A learner’s questions guide and validate the instructor, and an instructor’s questions (and there should be many) engage learners and reinforce key points. I ask a lot of easy questions, and insist on answers.

Attitude: we are all learning together. The instructor is not the “last word” on anything, but should act as a facilitator – who helps everyone learn from everyone else. The facilitator needs to deeply respect the learners, and see them all at their very best.

-Gerry Brimacombe,
Chief Executive Officer,
Sector Learning Solutions

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