Lowery says building a meeting around a theme can create excitement, build morale, generate anticipation and increase attention spans.
Driver instructor conference roundup
By now, the 2011 Maryland Driver Instructor Conference is over, but a discussion of its team-building activities wouldn’t hurt.
The activity for the first night resembled “The Amazing Race” reality television show. In this version, 12 teams competed — three from each of the four groups. Challenges were set up around the venue, and teams were given clues to where the challenges were located.
The four groups were named after prominent figures in history or literature who challenged people to travel where their heart told them to go. Throughout the week, each group watched their progress on their own map, marking their trip around the world. The first group back to Maryland was the winner.
Malcolm Knowles believes that learning for an adult is different than learning is for a child. It could be argued, though, that adults have more fun and perhaps learn more when they act carefree and imaginative, like a child. So the next time you plan for your transportation in-service meeting or conference, “dream a little and theme a lot!”
Keith Lowery is a supervisor at Montgomery County Public Schools’ transportation department in Rockville, Md. From 1999 to 2008, he worked in the county’s Safety & Training Unit. Since 2003, he has served on the planning committee for the bi-annual Maryland Driver Instructor Conference as a coordinator of themed events. Lowery received his bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology and development in 2007, and is currently working on a master’s degree in post-secondary and adult education. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments about this article.
Knowles’ six core principles of andragogy
1. Adults will pursue learning that they believe they need.
2. Instructors of adults should approach (take serious) their role as facilitators, catalysts and guides.
3. Adults should have control over their own approach to learning in an adult-oriented, cooperative, non-authoritarian setting and climate.
4. Learner involvement approaches to the teacher/learner process should be followed.
5. The adult should be viewed as a responsible, independent individual responsive to interdependent learning opportunities.
6. In addition to shared control and relevance, adult education should be based on authenticity of participants, instructors, procedures and goals.
Source: Gale Virtual Reference Library