The Educator’s Journey Part 2: The Reality of Professional Development in Adult Education

In my last post I talked about how I’ve adapted The Hero’s Journey to my own purposes. Here below it’s The Educator’s Journey.

I think this will find it’s way into my course for next year. I used it today with a group of my NCALNE (Voc) students who are tutors at a Polytech. I was going to save it to the end of the day, but I actually used it first thing in the morning as it seemed to resonate well with where they were at, and the hurdles and obstacles that most of them needed to overcome to get to the end of their training (or nearly the end for some).

It needs a Part 2 however. I didn’t get to talk about this with them, but here’s what I think it needed.

  • A much stronger “Where to from here?”. A really clear call to further action, in other words.

We were pushed for time as I needed to catch a plane, but here’s what I would do next time around.

  • Ask my participants what next strategic step they were each going to take.

Now, this is actually covered in the assessment coursework that they submit. So I do already do this in one form. However, I think there would be some value in doing it verbally and making it part of the discussion. I also think that I can focus this with a basic personality profile. I’ve adapted the following from Nancy Duarte’s Resonate again.

Most likely each person in my group falls into at least one of the following categories:

  1. Doer: This tutor tries things out or gets started once they know what has to be done.
  2. Creator: This trainer loves to adapt or make new resources to keep things moving forward.
  3. Influencer: This educator can’t help but evangelise and mobilize others to adopt the ideas and change their thinking
  4. Innovator: Generates ideas and thinks outside the box for new ways to modify and spread the ideas they’ve learned.

Obviously, people might feel that they fit into more than one category. No problems there. The value of the discussion here though is likely to be around educators committing to a specific action, as opposed to vague statements about future plans.

And by brainstorming and discussing at least one or two actions from each category, I think people will feel more comfortable choosing a way forward that they are comfortable with.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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