Lesson 1: Introduction and Rationale

This workshop is based in part on the experiential learning theory. Experiential learning is defined simply as the act of learning by doing. With experiential learning, learners reflect on, learn from, and take new action based on experiences and their application to something relevant in their lives. Students learn better when they are actively engaging the material rather than passively absorbing it.  For example, hearing a lecture about road signs and what they mean does little for someone who does not have the opportunity to actually drive a car, apply those learnings, and reflect on them in a real setting. 

According to Carl Rogers, one of the approach’s pioneers, experiential learning is equivalent to personal change and growth, which teachers and trainers have the role of facilitating.  He posited that despite the teacher’s facilitative role, experiential learning is largely self-directed and should address the needs and wants of the learner.  Rogers identified the following qualities of experiential learning:

  1. Personal involvement
  2. Initiated by the learner(s)
  3. Evaluated by the learner(s)
  4. Pervasive effects on learner(s)

He also identified 5 ways in which trainers play a profound role:

  1. Setting a positive climate for learning
  2. Clarifying the learning purposes for participants
  3. Organizing and making learning resources available and accessible
  4. Balancing the intellectual and emotional components of learning
  5. Sharing feelings and thoughts with learners without dominating

This workshop builds upon all these areas, with the end goal being the delivery of respectful, high-quality, hands-on instruction for all youth in the classroom.

A second body of research informing the design of this workshop is that of constructivist learning and teaching practices. The constructivist learning theory posits that learners construct knowledge for themselves—each learner individually constructs meaning as he or she learns.  Thus, learning is internally controlled and mediated by the learner.

The constructivist learning and teaching approaches addressed in this handbook include:

  1. Creation of real-world environments that employ the context in which learning is relevant
  2. Focus on practical approaches to solving real-world problems
  3. Establishment of the trainer as a coach and analyser of the strategies used to solve these problems
  4. Emphasis on conceptual interrelatedness, providing multiple representations or perspectives on the content
  5. Negotiation of instructional goals and objectives rather than imposition
  6. Use of evaluation as a tool for self-analysis
  7. Provision of tools and environments that help learners interpret the multiple perspectives of the world

The workshop is designed for those who have been asked to teach young people workplace and technical skills. There are many ideas, methods, and strategies present in this workshop. Some, perhaps, will be very new to many of your participants; other participants may have seen or heard of these ideas, methods, and strategies but never tried them.

Others, still, may already be using these methods and strategies and want a place to reflect on the best practices they are already employing. The idea is for the master trainer to help participants continue to stretch and grow as trainers. Indeed, the best trainers in the world know that lifelong learning keeps us fresh and ready to reach all young people.

Notes to the Facilitators

To prepare for the delivery of the Effective Teaching Workshop, review the procedures and considerations below.

1 . Preparation

2 . Timing

3 . Social Inclusion

PROGRAM COMPONENTS

TOT Manual

Follow-up Group Discussion Guide

Workshop Handout Packet (WHP)

PowerPoint Presentation (PPT)

Appendices (APX)