CCEDP Summer 2015 – Throughout the initial week of the CCEDP (Community College Education Diploma Program) training that was so articulately, effectively and efficiently taught by the Professors, Don Bureaux and Libby Levatte, I have learnt that “in order to significantly understand an Adult Learner, one must first understand themselves as the Adult Learner (Libby Levatte and Don Bureaux, n.d).” In agreement, we as Educators have to understand ourselves first before we understand others (Students), which provides a sense of appreciation of the information conveyed and the learners themselves; providing a sense of comfort, confidence, inspiration and mutual trust between facilitators and the recipient of learning or the Adult Learners.
Adult Learners are a very diverse group (typically ages 25 and older) with a wide range of abilities, educational and cultural backgrounds, responsibilities and job experiences (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics Brief…,2005) So my intriguing question was “how do you help different levels of Adult Learners to get equal opportunities of the teaching methods?” In the Group discussion Open Space (teaching/learning technique), I have discussed and acquired few possible solutions:
1. In order to deal with ill persons in advance before the commencement of classes, the Administration Department can send a list of the registration students with a symbol (a red Star or Bow) to indicate the child is sick with the type of illness and a brief description. This is relevant because it will give the facilitator an understanding of how and what to do (in applying assessments, delivery of information, teaching/instruction techniques) when dealing with such individuals.
2. Spend time on one-to-one with students that you observed are struggling or weak in certain areas. For example, students who are suffering from dysgraphia and are weak in Mathematics, Science, etc.
3. When providing students with assessments (exams) and other teaching techniques, observe how they respond and interact, respectively. Therefore, providing them with the teaching techniques that they like or strengthens their ability to perform better should be delivered to them as it best suits their learning style or needs because ultimately the intended goal is to achieve the outcome.
4. For hearing impaired persons who have issues with retaining information, they can use recorders to store notes and lectures, and be provided with braille and symbolic learning materials.
After the final day of the CCEDP training, I Celebrate “Change Your Lens, Change Your Life.” – Dewitt Jones. This quote resonates with me because in my daily life experiences and profession, I always want to “Improve myself and not Prove myself.” I continue to make a difference in informing and educating others more to become better individuals than they were yesterday. When we as Educators and as a people, Change our Lens it prepares us to avoid being blind, see the actual beauty of life; embrace nature and life for what it’s worth. It changes our perception, change our attitudes. If I am in FEAR, will I be ridiculed? Will it be noticed…who cares!? I am in control of my strength and I don’t require feedback of negativity but only have expectancy of Positivity! We must not flap neither talk but soar to improve our lives as an Educator to my students and others in the community and society! No matter what is the sunset’s colour, shape, shade or light and it is been critiqued, it will show up every day the same way because its strength is an awe-inspiring masterpiece of natural beauty. Therefore, I will be an example of the Sunset.
As an Adult Learner, I have learnt that learning is an ongoing and reflective process that we can relate to our everyday life experiences. Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere (Chinese Proverb). This proverb is profoundly meaningful to my daily life experiences because it is a blend of various art that’s embraced and instilled in me since from birth to adulthood because I learn and accumulate new information in correlation to skills, theory, fauna, flora, life, photographs, videos, and group discussion whether it’s in a family, religion, school, culture, group of people. It doesn’t matter where I go or where I am, there’s always something to do, to see and to hear which is engaging and it accumulates to learning experiences. Learning is invigorating and creates reflection; learning makes me yearn for more knowledge as it opens my appetite as a Blue Whale that can hold up to 2,200 pounds of food before it is a top capacity (Whale-World, n.d). More importantly, there’s no person or thing that can take away our learning from us because whatever we have learnt has embedded within us mentally, physically, and emotionally…and we get to access, demonstrate, express and implement it because we are the responsible owner of our valued learning. We get to keep it, move with it, share it and teach it as Adult Learners.
Nova Scotia and NSCC Experience
Nova Scotia is very beautiful, clean and has an environmentally friendly environment. In regarding recreation, I took the opportunity to walk and explore the Truro campus in Nova Scotia and alongside the streets, which I felt secured and safe because most people were greeted me and we eventually conversed with each other. I felt like I was a step away from home. J
NSCC has an inspiring and accommodating staff and facilitators as they are so amicable, well-organized, and intelligent. Furthermore, they usually have the urgent willingness to assist me with clarifications and tasks.
I enjoy keeping healthy and fit, so I had joined the NSCC gym for the week and my personal workout schedule was 1 ½ hours per day. After my workouts, I felt invigorated, rejuvenated and immensely energized. For the first day in the gym, I have made friends with two Canadian students, Spencer and Cathy. We introduced ourselves and talked about each other’s culture food and country which was enthusiastic. Last but not least, I felt acknowledged, appreciated as I had celebrated my birthday today, and the whole of the Cafeteria sang the happy birthday song to me. Then after my first break of the morning session in class, my facilitators Don Bureaux and Libby Levatte called me to come inside since the break was finished and astonishingly, they both came directly to me with a birthday cake with lighted candles. This gesture made me shared tears and showed how much these people are loving, warm, caring and they are like my family (felt like this from the first class session). I love you Don Bureaux and Libby Levatte! You both ROCK!
My facilitators, Don Bureaux and Libby Levatte made me mastered my weakness in the week of training so I tend to be more expressive and share my perspective on any topic assigned whether I am critiqued or not. This is the first time, I feel like the chains of slavery has broken and I’m free to express more my opinions without exhibiting fear or vulnerability. Thank you Don and Libby and my Canadian colleagues for the learning tour throughout the week. According to Marcus Buckingman quotes to deal with Vulnerability, “Identify what weakens you and edit them; make a Change!” I am so doing this and moving forward!
On behalf of TAMCC, Thank you Zoran and your NSCC team in allowing my three colleagues and me to go on this educational journey at NSCC as my Lens have renewed to new information of Adult Learning, and my vision and outlook on life has been strengthened.
I will forever miss NSCC!
Ms.Marsha Davis – Asc, Bsc, MPA, Cert. Adolescent Training (Grenada)
Education Coordinator of School of Continuing Education (SCE)
T. A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC)
Six Roads, Carriacou