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[This short article is meant to give readers ‘an insight to the field of learning strategies condensed from an original article of mine]
Training is the platform where core values are built into an individual. The values can be of technical nature, behavioral, philosophical or psychological. Many still have reservations to define training as teaching or vice versa. In broader sense, let us accept the fact that both are so interrelated and in reality both are essential for the transfer of ‘intended’ to the ‘Trainee/ student’.
It integrates instructor’s combined years of experience and knowledge to provide students with practical, hands-on experience and information. First of all we need to understand why a person is coming for a learning session.
Can you imagine a dream and get a magic wand to make it real?
Yes, an individual starts with a dream, a dream of his life. To achieve this he starts his journey to gather necessary tools that will help him achieve what he dreamt. In the initial stages he looks for accumulating as much as information as possible, from the available sources. He thinks that it will be useful for him to look for ways and means of nearing
JKM/ISTD/260805 his goals. Some of the information may be useful readily and in a short time span. Others he will need to keep in his archives for retrieving at a later time.
In the initial stages even the dreams are hazy and not fully defined. This is a point where teacher influences much strongly. The teachers’ role is to ensure that they get the right information, take them to the right focus, make then understand how to use it, and how to grow along the path. In this modern world there could be an information flood that will sweep away the student. Here the teacher can help him to avoid the unwanted flood of information and channel him to the right path. The major transfer strategies for a good teacher are to ensure that they are capable of;
1. helping the students make the concepts, ideas, theories clear and see the interrelations 2. helping the students to find relations between one training and another training 3. helping the students to co-relate what they learn to the real life and work situations 4. helping the students to see the connection to the future learning process
Each strategy needs to be fully understood by the teacher so that he/she can employ the right method of imparting the required training. In some of the cases this transfer is very clear since the matter is directly related to the actual situation. Familiarity makes it easier for him to assimilate the training more easily and make learning process faster. What he learned can be directly put into application and is available at arms length. In some of the
JKM/ISTD/260805 cases one may be wondering about the use of this learning, because of the apparent lack of a direct link to any life situation. This is common in conceptual mathematical sessions. Though the students will try to do what the teacher teaches, they keep a question mark in their mind as to: Why should I learn this da…..m… calculus to get a job in a bank as high earning executive? Why should I get trained in the modern computers if I can hire a young one? And so on.
Generally the strategies that can be used are: A. Pat and tell B. Tell and recall C. Recall D. Check and add the balance E. Self pace and support
In the initial stages, and at infancy levels, it is always suitable to use the soft skills of training. A bit of patting will go a long way here, due the rapport being created between the teacher and the student. At the second level, they will be able to grasp just by telling and using a bit of repetition. As the student gets graduated through his learning process, he will start using the ‘recall’ of what he already learned and co relate to what he is learning now. At this stage the learning process become more and more dynamic. Then more effective self learning will start taking place making the student to look for the gaps. By this time he acquires the potent of identifying what is needed and will seek help from his teacher. At an advanced level, the student reaches to a self learning process,
JKM/ISTD/260805 which he continues through out his life, unless he looks for a totally new area for learning.
Remember one comes to the learning platform with a number of variations in their cognition and structure. Though the platform may look stable, it gets rocked by many situational impacts. This is one of the reasons for the variations one sees in the product quality at the end of the learning process, especially in a group learning.
? ? ? PERCEPTIONS Factual Knowledge Metacognition Expectations
For those who may wonder about metacognition, let me give you a definition and use it as a demo for transfer of information.
Metacognition refers to one's knowledge concerning one's own cognitive processes or anything related to them, e.g., the learning-relevant properties of information or data. For example, I am engaging in metacognition if I notice that I am having more trouble learning A than B; if it strikes me that I should double check C before accepting it as fact." (Source: Psychology.org)
That is learning…………! If we, the learned cannot get it clear, think about the challenges you are going to face when dealing with multitude of multiple intelligence in front of you trying to cohere what you are speaking.
There is also a whole lot of techniques such as accelerated leaning, NLP, action learning, cooperative learning, group learning, democratic learning, double loop learning, lateral thinking etc, etc, etc,
What strategy will the teacher choose? Which is the best? Well, it depends on many variables such as learners profile, teachers profile, resources available, target size, environment and the transfer time. An experienced teacher can select a combination of the techniques to achieve optimum. Ideally one should start with a gap analysis, analysis of target population and clear indication of the goals needed.
The question here is; did you succeed in taking him at least few steps closer to his dreams? If so your strategy was right.
[Note: The words like training, teaching, instructing are loosely used through out this article, and all of them means same as transfer of information, knowledge, skills, competence etc by the trainer/instructor or teacher to the receiver. Similarly is the case of the word, “trainee” or ‘student’ denotes the person who is the receiver.]
About the author The author is a well known HRD and Training Specialist, presently with a Shipping company at Singapore as their Director (HRD & Trg). A luminary from World Maritime University, Malmo, he has contributed to the filed of education with a no of books, papers and other valuable input. He is also member to many institutions and holds high prestige in the industry. He can be contacted on email@example.com