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Workplace Readiness 201

Workplace Readiness 201

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Published by: api-3709078 on Oct 14, 2008
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Work Readiness 201: Training Smarter Faster

Most people tire of a lecture in ten minutes.
Clever people do it in five.
Sensible people never go to lectures at all.

--Stephen Loncock
At the end of this training, the participants will have:
Reviewed the concepts of brain-based learning
Learned a minimum of five new training techniques
Practiced one new training technique with the SPOKES/HTGR modules
Direct Instruction
Direct participants to the Quick Start activity posted on the board, flip chart, or
Tell learners:The brain is designed to learn, to make sense out of the world

around it. It is a pattern-seeking device. These patterns can by physical cycles of the world; experiential; cognitive; or affective, to name a few. Experiential are those things we learn to do, such as fill out a form or change a tire. Cognitive patterns deal with academic skills, such as how to divide fractions. Affective patterns deal with our emotions, such as how we react to a sad movie.

Mark Up: Here are some concepts you\u2019ll be covering in today\u2019s training.
Circle the words or phrases that sound familiar to you or that you can
Reticular Activating System
Three Brains in One
Wounded Learners
Attention Breaker
Emotional Brain
Thinking Brain
Wigging Out
Pop-Up:Direct the whole group to stand up. Then say:To earn your

chair back, you need to give your table group (standing group or row) one
example of a physical cycle of the world, an experiential pattern, a
cognitive pattern, and/or an affective pattern.

Hint: If the groups have difficulty getting started, suggest the following:
Physical cycle= (birth/death); experiential pattern (dance moves); cognitive
pattern (reading); affective pattern (emotional response to anger).

Ask participants:Why, in the formal learning environment of the
classroom/training room, it is assumed that learners must be coerced (bribed,
threatened, convinced, ordered, told, directed) to learn? The answer is twofold.

First, most formal methods of learning are not based on how the human brain
learns. They are based primarily on tradition and/or issues such as control, time,
situational constraints, type of material to be covered, and the like.

The focus of most \u201cmethods of learning\u201d today is on the teacher, not the learner. The teacher is perceived to be the \u201csubject matter expert,\u201d and the one with the authority, knowledge, and power.

The second reason is that the human brain willingly keeps its attention focused
on only what holds its interest. A person always is concerned with WIIFM
(What\u2019s in it for me?). This is one\u2019s emotional tie to the content. When course
content is irrelevant or boring, the brain must be convinced that it needs to pay
attention.Emphasize the boxed information:

Emotion directs attention, which directs learning.

Understanding how the brain works will help you to create learning experiences for your students that are compatible with how the brain learns, rather than using methods that only tire and frustrate it.

Think and Write: Think about the material we just covered. If
you had to explain the main idea to someone else, what would you say? Write
your explanation in a sentence or two on one of your index cards/post-its.

Imagine you are at a half-day workshop dealing with a new data management
system. You listen for a while and then your mind begins to drift off as you think
about what you are going to do when you get home. You suddenly realize you
haven\u2019t heard one word of the lecture for the past thirty minutes. You don\u2019t have
a clue what the speaker has said!

What happened? A tiny part of your brain, about the size of your little finger, hijacked your conscious brain and said, in effect, \u201cBeen there, done that. You can take a hike.\u201d So while you drifted away, this tiny piece of gray matter was screening out all the stuff it considered unimportant, including the lecture!

Suddenly, the speaker says something that alerts your drifting mind: \u201cWhen I
throw this beanbag at you, please tell the group one important fact that they
need to remember about this data management system, then toss the beanbag
to someone else.\u201d Whoa! Your conscious brain is now fully alert (and panicked
that the beanbag will come to you!). As the beanbag is tossed around the room,
you remain alert in case it comes your way.

Ask the participants:What happened? (Something in the environment

This area of the brain is called the reticular activating system (RAS). It is more commonly known as the Attention Maker. It sends signals through the limbic or emotional brain to your cerebrum or thinking brain.

The Attention Maker \u201cmakes\u201d or \u201cbreaks\u201d attention. It either directs your thinking
brain to pay attention to what is going on in the environment, or it stops your
thinking brain\u2019s attention, causing it to go on \u201cautomatic pilot.\u201d

What does this have to do with teaching and learning?

Simply put, when you want your learners to pay
close, conscious attention to important information,
you have to catch the attention of the RAS by
changing something in the environment.

Ask participants:What kinds of changes engage the RAS? List responses on a
board or flipchart. Review PPT slides #8 and #9: Instructional Changes that
Engage the RAS.

Vary the tone, speed, loudness, or softness of your voice.

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