Translate This Blog
English French German Spain Italian Dutch Russian Portuguese Japanese Korean Arabic Chinese Simplified

The Second Principle

The second principle that should be  noticed by teachers when teaching adult is safety. For the first principle, you can read here for my previous posting.
 Safety is a principle linked to respect for learners as decision makers of their own learning. But it has an added connotation. It means that the design of learning tasks, the atmosphere in the room, and the very design of small groups and materials convey to the adult learners that this experience will work for them. The context is safe. Safety does not obviate the natural challenge of learning new concepts, skills, or attitudes. Safety does not take away any of the hard work involved in learning. Should learning be designed to be challenging or to be safe? The answer is yes! Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and teacher, suggests a pattern for addressing such dilemmas: hold the opposites! In the new science the question arises:
Is light a wave or a particle? The only response is yes! It is seen as either a wave or a particle depending on the context, the state of the observer, and the kind of equipment used. I suggest that in all our efforts, and certainly in regard to the presence of challenge and safety in our educational designs, we celebrate the opposites. Safety is a principle that guides the teacher’s hand throughout the planning, during the learning needs and resources assessment, in the first moments of the course. The principle of safety enables the teacher to create an inviting setting for adult learners. People have shown that they are not only willing but also ready and eager to learn when they feel safe in the learning environment. What creates this feeling of safety?
First, trust in the competence of the design and the teacher enables the learners to feel safe. It is important to make your experience and competence clear—either through written materials that learners have read beforehand or through introductory words with them. This is a natural way to make learners feel safe and confident in their teacher.
Second, trust in the feasibility and relevance of the objectives makes learners feel safe. It is important not only to review the design with the group but also to point out how the objectives have been informed by the learning needs and resources assessment. You
can point out that the objectives are empirically based, since theyhave been successfully used in similar sessions, and explain that you understand that this particular group is a unique context for this content to be learned. You will see physical manifestations of a feeling of safety appear after such a review of the whole design: people relax, smile, talk more freely to one another.
Third, allowing small groups to find their voices enhances the power of safety. One of the first learning tasks I do in any course is to invite learners to work in small groups to name their own expectations, hopes, or fears about a learning event or norms they want to see established in the large group. Four learners at a table large enough for their materials, small enough for them to feel included, provides physical and social safety for learners. You can hear the difference in the sound in the room as learners find their voices in the small group. The new science has demonstrated how context affects reality. I have seen how a safe context changes timid adult learners into assertive and daring colleagues. Using the principle of safety creates a context in which adults can do the hard work that learning demands.
Fourth, trust in the sequence of activities builds safety. Beginning with simple, clear, and relatively easy tasks before advancing to more complex and more difficult ones can give learners a sense of safety so they can take on the harder tasks with assurance. Sequence and reinforcement will be seen later as a corollary principle to safety
Fifth, realization that the environment is nonjudgmental assures safety. Affirmation of every offering from every learner, as well as lavish affirmation of efforts and products of learning tasks, can create a sense of safety that invites creativity and spontaneity in dealing with new concepts, skills, and attitudes. Affirming is one of the basic tasks of every teacher. As we affirm what we hear, we invite learners to use the power they were born with as decision makers of their own lives. Teachers do not empower adult learners; they encourage the use of the power that learners were born with. How can safety be endangered? One great danger to safety is the fatal moment when an adult learner says something in a group, only to have the words hit the floor with a resounding “plop,” without affirmation, without even recognition that she has spoken, with the teacher proceeding as if nothing had been said. This is a sure way to destroy safety in the classroom. A “plop” destroys safety not onlyfor the person  who spoke, but for all in the room. Just as you can see physical manifestations as learners feel safer and safer, you can observe definite physical manifestations of fear and anxiety after such a “plop.” You can watch the energy draining out of learners. The rise and fall of learners’ energy is an accurate indicator of their sense of safety. Energy is another of our selected quantum concepts. In the situation in Tanzania, we see how safety was desperately needed to keep a gifted Muslim teacher working with a Christian community. We see how the absence of safety destroyed the potential of teacher and learners alike. How I wish I had known quantum theory and these principles at that time!
Comment please, but no spam !!!

Related Post:


Tutorial Blog said...

this blog is useful for me to learn english,,,thanks for made this blog,, :)

martos said...

thank you for your visiting..,,:)

Post a Comment

Anda berminat buat Buku Tamu seperti ini?
Klik disini