Wrapping Up…

August 14, 2009 at 4:40 am 5 comments

A few things… Firstly, I can’t believe how much I miss Victoria and the idea of classes – the community building, the connections, the friendships, and the ability to discuss on the spur of the moment, any idea or random thought was, well… desirable.  It’s tough getting used to an online environment again.

Secondly, as I was considering revisions to my paper I began to wonder if those who teach and work primarily with adults have greater insight into their own learning as adults.  Working with teenagers and children, I tend to focus on their learning and relate, wrongly, my learning to their learning.  From reading MacKeracher (I still can’t pronounce her name correctly), I understand that there are fundamental differences in the way adults gather, process and apply knowledge – when compared to kids, but it’s tough to be reflective of my own learning as an adult, when so much of my own education has focused on the learning abilities of children.

Thirdly, I bought a printer.  I bought a gorgeous, colour laser printer.  (For a good price).  Every time I print of a sheet I think of Spencer’s article.  I also think of the trees in the forest.  I’m using it for papers at the moment – no class notes yet, but we’ll see – the cost of toner and paper is a bit of a deterrent to printing off.  I wonder if that could be posed as a research question “what role does price of printer toner and ink jet cartridges play in the preference of adult learner to printing off online material or reading them on a screen?” hmmm…

Fourthly, I know there was a fourth point – but it’s now lost in the vastness between my ears – a vastness that is now considerably more vast than it was just three weeks ago; thus more room for thoughts to get lost in.  Thank god I have that printer to print them out.


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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jbenvin  |  August 14, 2009 at 6:00 am

    Hi Robb
    I too, miss Victoria and residency. I too have been reading through Macheracher’s book on adult learning. I have been doing a little jumping around of course, instead of reading one chapter after another in order. I wanted to know exactly how the brain worked in learning and found out that the brain shifts down (as mentioned in my last blog posting) when a person is under stress. Even though in the nursing program we study biology, I must of forgotten the part about the brain (how brainless of me). I don’t know if you have reached chapter 5 but I have to say for someone who is not a reader this chapter had me glued to the pages. My father (the lucky man) was driving us back from Victoria last night and he decided he would like to hear what I was reading, sooo he got it all, the whole chapter from Victoria to Nanaimo, 1 hour and 45 minutes worth of Jenny narrating Macheracher’s words of wisdom. I must say I am very exciting in reading the rest of the book. I am hoping that the rest of our readings are just as exciting. TTYL Jenny

    • 2. robbstevenson  |  August 15, 2009 at 3:42 am

      Getting there – I’ve always found anything related to learning kinda interesting, so I’m looking forward to Chapter 5 now! You should do audiobook recordings of MacKeracher – I know I’d definitely buy them!

      It’s funny that you mention jumping around the book – I read somewhere (or maybe was told) that it’s more intellectually stimulating, and that you retain more information, when you scan books for interesting headings and read them in an order that makes sense to you – not necessarily the prescribed order of the chapters in the book. Wonder if someone could do a research topic based around that?

      Hope everything’s going well.

  • 3. clintlalonde  |  August 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I was thinking about how so much of the learning theory we are studying is geared towards adult learners and how this must be difficult for educators who work with young people. Even the typography of the title of our textbook emphasizes ADULT. This is great for personal insight and for people like me who primarily work with adult learners. But I’ve wondered if people like Pam, Colin and yourself who primarily work with young people are getting the same out of the course as we who work with adult learners are? Not to downplay the importance of the learning theory course (and there is certainly some universal principles you can probably apply), but just wondering if the content is as relevant for you as it is is for me?

    • 4. robbstevenson  |  August 15, 2009 at 3:46 am

      I know for me personally, it’s been a transition – one of my initial goals of the program was to become better at integrating technology and my students’ abilities to learn and demonstrate their learning. Needless to say I’ve had to modify that goal a bit – but the personal aspect is there – it’s interesting to begin to understand my own learning in a deeper level. Plus, I’ve always been afraid to move into the adult education part of the Pub. Ed. System – and these courses have somewhat given me a little more confidence and understanding in that regard, so who knows – maybe I’ll switch career paths into that adult ed. business?! But I think overall, the learning theory was more relevant on a personal level – not so much on a professional level (there was insight, but like has been stated – adult and child learning is different, so any insight has to be taken with a grain of salt and some further readings.)

  • 5. janetparadisrru  |  August 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I think that adult learning really does have a lot in common with teaching children because different ‘adults’ are at different stages of development and teachers/instructors require the skills to recognize delays in development. I see mature students who really need a lot of nurturing and help – not treating them like children but simply knowing that some adults require the use of skills that are more geared towards younger learners.


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