Supporting Self-Guided Learning for Educators

Last night I wrote about supporting others as they make change and how one thing I’ve noticed for myself was that I made changes or really dug deep into content when it was something that directly related to me and my goals.

I’m wondering how do we make this happen in training sessions? (I’ll clarify by saying I haven’t done this yet, this is me thinking it through…and envisioning what I want my training sessions to look like.)

  • Listen, really listen. Hear the teachers goals, hopes, dreams, concerns….try to discover what they are interested in. If this is a training session with a lot of people, this might not be realistic, but maybe leading an activity that guides participants to think about these things could encourage them to focus their goals? I feel like the first step in moving forward is to look at where you are and then think about where you want to be.
  • Time, build in time for participants to work and apply the concepts or tools in their own situation.
  • Encourage connections and sharing of ideas. Lead brainstorming protocols, have as many ideas or examples shared as possible and document all of them. Maybe a Google Doc? Something that people can come back to. Especially if someone is feeling overwhelmed, maybe it’s been along day and they reached their limit….but a month later, they think back to that one idea that was shared, image how helpful that resource would be? I also feel like if the ideas come from them and their colleagues, they’ll be more open to trying something new.
  • Give participants a voice, share the goals of the session or plan, ask for their input, what do they want to learn about this topic? Even if there isn’t time to address everything in a live session, is it possible to provide resources even after the session is over?
  • Give a template or guide to support them as they create their own path(have it available in a variety of formats, print vs digital), encouraging(and celebrating) small steps!

This all comes from a variety of different courses and experiences I’ve had as a learner…I’m trying to figure out where they all fit and how they can be used to best support educators in a meaningful way that allow them follow their own learning paths…in the context of a required training. Is this possible?


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