What are we doing to get masters instead of mere students? My personal approach to adult education.

The turn from 20th to 21st century brought many challenges; one of the most complicated has to do with education.  The old model, in place since 19th century, is reaching the end of its life.  New educational models, such as the reverse school, are coming into place; now it’s our time to adapt and change, to make school a place where people learns and become useful to society, not just get a diploma.

 

This is the ultimate challenge we teachers are facing. How do we create masters instead of test scores aces? How do we challenge and motivate our students to learn, to get to the core of things at their own pace, while the clock is running and we are subject to time and calendars?

Teaching is both a pleasure and a challenge for me. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years, and I’ve discovered it’s not just a matter of my students being Millenial, o Gen X’rs, or Baby Boomers… it is a thing of the individual student. Some are quick, some are not; some have a natural talent for the subject, some hate the subject.  Yet, the challenge I face is somehow different:  I teach adults. Yes. I’m am MBA teacher, a diploma instructor, a seminar/workshop facilitator.  My younger students are 25, mostly professionals with a college degree who chose, all by themselves, to continue their education and come back to school.

It doesn’t make it any easier, only different, and it’s always kept me on my toes trying to find new ways to make them work on acquiring knowledge in a more compelling way, instead of the traditional lecture-homework-test model…

Then, this Ted Talk showed up. I can’t resist sharing it with you.  Sal Khan is a trailblazer on educational science; his academy has shown that kids may be highly proficient in subjects such as math, chemistry or physics, regardless of their gender, age or cultural & educational background –all based on a concept called flipped school, where students grasp the concept at their own pace via fun media such as youtube videos, and then discuss them in class, practice them, master them.

I started asking myself:  how can I do it for adult students?  It kept me rolling.  I enrolled to Khan Academy and Coursera, and began taking courses to live the method, the concept, the product, the approach.

Then, I will have to make some research, some questioning, to put the design thinking methodology into action and make some professional adult education innovation.  Have talks with students, colleagues, even employeers or bosses to find out what is they need, they find useful, they value, they use to learn better.

I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I am sure it will positive, for me and my students.

Here it is, the Sal Khan Ted Talk. Watch it; think; apply.  Repeat.

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