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Thursday, February 26, 2015


Thirty or more years ago, part of my job was training new people in a variety of tasks. I was trained to do that in 3 steps: tell them what was to be done, show them how to do it, let them do it. Steps to be repeated as needed, of course.

Step 3 was the only one that always needed to be repeated.

Donna, I agree with your method. I try to use a similar one, whether helping out a new person at the office, or teaching Sunday school kids, or the myriad things we all try to pass on to our kids. My cooking instructions make my family laugh, because my kids are all excellent cooks as a result, but they simply have not had any effect on my spouse.

I think one probably has to distinguish between teaching people things they HAVE to learn, and voluntary stuff. Math, reading, or enough of a subject to get needed credits: these things depend ultimately on the motivation of the person or fear of failure or (in a job) fear of being fired. Teaching methods chiefly matter with things people have a choice about. And, perhaps, on subjects that some people are forced to take but consider "hard." Math would be an obvious example.

That being said, I'm so old fashioned, I actually enjoy and learn well from the classic lecture format class. I hated group projects and experimental learning EXCEPT in practical applications: it was appropriate and worthwhile in courses on things like pastoral counselling, family dynamics, etc.

One of my kids whines about group computer/coding projects because the boys take credit for her code, and do the final presentation and present it as theirs after she has done all the work. I tell her, welcome to the real world, be craftier next time...

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