10 Replies Latest reply on May 1, 2015 10:27 AM by glen_w

    4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?

    blancaedu

      In Ellen Drago-Severson's article, 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning, she talks about adult development and how adults approach learning and growth.

       

      The Constructive-Developmental Theory which is mentioned in this article centers on 1) that we actively make sense of our experiences (constructivism) and 2) that over time, the way we make sense of our experiences changes and can grow more complex. In order to be able to provide adults with opportunities for personal and professional growth we need to understanding their "way of knowing".  A person's way of knowing shapes how they understand their role and responsibilities and the types of supports that they need in order to grow.

       

      • The Instrumental Way of Knowing - may ask questions like, "What do you have that can help me?" and "What do I have that can help you?" and typically desire concrete advice so placing them in roles other than their own is important to help them consider multiple perspectives
      • The Socializing Way of Knowing - has an increased capacity for reflection but is also aware of relationships and other's approvals/acceptance so it's important to allow them time to develop their own ideas and clarify those ideas in small groups before sharing with others
      • The Self-Authoring Way of Knowing - take responsibility for their own views and are able to internalize other people's expectations; in order to help them grow, gently challenge their own perspectives or have them take on an opposing view

       

      In the article there are 4 pillar practices that support growth:

      1. Teaming
      2. Providing Leadership Roles
      3. Collegial Inquiry
      4. Mentoring

       

      After taking some time to read the article, and reflect, in what pillar practices do you find most of your professional development experiences taking place (state whether you are the receiver or the provider of the PD) and what do you think is "your way of knowing"? Interested in what glen_w vkajones holmesg julesfischy susangauthier deb_norton rubinajahangir1@gmail.com yasserrs2003@hotmail.com have to share!  Feel free to tag others too!

       

      Source: http://www.schoolreforminitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/JSD-drago-severson-08.pdf

        • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
          glen_w

          Blanca,

           

          I find this discussion very interesting. I just had a conversation with my principal today relating to ALL four pillar practices. We identified an experienced teacher who has become so involved in Teaming that he told the principal what credentials the next hired teacher needs to have. I was very impressed at how important he felt teaming is.

           

          As a school, we identified a few teachers who I think fit the description of "The Self-Authoring Way of Knowing." These teachers have become very helpful mentors in the building.

           

          blancaedu or NaomiHarm Do you know a method that a school might use so teachers can "identify" which Way of Knowing best fits them?

            • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
              blancaedu

              Glen,

               

              Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I want to touch base about the teachers you have identified in your school. These would be the ones who fit the description of "The Self-Authoring Way of Knowing". For those teachers, giving them opportunities to learn about other perspectives is important. In their roles as mentors, are they paired with more experienced teachers or less? I would think, according to this article, that they would do best if they were paired with those more experienced - or at least with different experiences and perspectives. Can you confirm how it is going?

               

              As for your question about a method that a school might use to help teachers identify with a way of knowing, it sounds like a very good project! I'm going to let it sink and come back to it.

                • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
                  glen_w

                  Blanca,

                   

                  The teachers who fit into the category of "The Self-Authoring Way of Knowing" are mainly experienced teachers who have been paired with less experienced teachers. We, however, have a couple of new teachers who fit this category. They have self-selected to work with other teachers who do not fit the category. One example of this is a 3rd year teacher invited all teachers to join him in a "study group" discussing "growth mindset." About ten teachers join weekly to discuss ideas related to growth mindset and how we as a school might encourage all students to demonstrate a growth mindset. Four of the experienced teachers who best demonstrate this category have been asked to "mentor" new teachers and assist them in classroom management and instructional practice.

              • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
                pgrant@clarity-innovations.com

                This was a very interesting article. I think it's important that those of us who are involved in teacher professional learning stay informed about adult learners. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what teaching and learning means for students that we forget that we are also teachers--but teachers of adults.

                 

                The article reminded me of a book that everyone was reading back in the 90s--Women's Ways of Knowing. It had some of the same ideas if I recall correctly.

                • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
                  julesfischy

                  Blanca - I think about my role in the classroom and the schools where I worked and I had opportunities from all four pillars - we had our middle school pod or team, or grade level teams or content area teams.  Then there were leadership roles, department chairs, team leaders, etc. Our district ran a career ladder program that provided the opportunity for collegial inquiry and for several years I was the new teacher mentor.

                   

                  As for the way of knowing I think that for me it changes based on what is being learned or shared. I do think that I tend to lean more to Self-Authoring but can relate to the other ways of knowing. I wonder if others find this true.

                    • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
                      blancaedu

                      You've shared that your school had such a wonderful impact on student and teachers lives that it does not surprise me that learning through all of these pillars were available. julesfischy Do you ever think back and wonder how some of the technologies we have available today could have made those experiences better? In what ways?

                       

                      As for the way of knowing, I find like Vanessa does in her post below, that it really depends on the situation that I am in. In addition to having taken on different roles in the pillars and helping others do so, when it comes to ways of knowing, when coaching others, sometimes I feel more self-authoring, and other times, I tend to want to gravitate towards the socializing way of knowing, where I am more comfortable discussing in small groups before feeling confident enough to express my beliefs on my own. I think we all, as professionals, come across areas where we have more strength or feel more confident than others.

                       

                      Lately, I am placing myself outside of my "comfort zone"  and it's forcing me (in a good way) to conduct more scholarly research in areas I have not been greatly involved in.

                    • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
                      vkajones

                      Thanks for posting this Blanca. While reading and thinking about the article, it allowed me to do a little self-reflection on my various roles in education. I think my role is a combination of all of these pillars of practices Most of the time, but may differ on certain occasions. I think  the practice is dependent on the situation. it also depends on what day of the week or what tasks I have before me.  For example, I know that Teaming, Mentoring, Inquiry and Leadership roles are an intrigal part of my everyday life. But if I was to focus on a certain concept;task; situation or  item, then, I think my role would change. If we were discussing Social Media, then I think my practices may different dramatically. Although I use social media as part of my professional growth, I do not feel that I take on the leadership, mentoring  or teaming roles in that aspect

                        • Re: 4 Practices Serve as Pillars for Adult Learning - What is Your Way of Knowing?
                          blancaedu

                          Thank you Vanessa for your words. I am trying lately to give myself more time to reflect, and having time to reflect with passionate, knowledgeable educators like you and Julia, and Glen and Susan and so many others, is not a resource I have taken advantage much, except in a face to face setting (that's why I love our F-2-Fs!). It's easy to say I don't have time (which I don't but who does?) I am trying very hard to make this a habit because I know I learn so much from you all. So, in the end if I can't be with you all in person, I know I have an online community to share and learn from. Sniff.

                           

                          Ok So I also feel like you do, that there are some aspects like social media (well maybe not social media) but other areas that I don't see myself taking on a leadership or mentoring role in. If we could find a way to help teachers understand the importance of the pillars, is there also a way (like glen_w asks above) that we could help them also understand what their "ways of knowing" are? And I suppose a follow-up question might be, to what end? How would/could this help them?