What Ed Said
"Are Adult Learners Different from Young Learners?
For my C4T, I had the opportunity to visit Edna Sackson's blog "What Ed Said." The first post I read was titled "Are adult learners different from young learners?" In this post, Sackson discusses whether or not adult students are similar to young students. She is currently in Thailand for training to become an IB workshop leader. In this training, she is learning that issues, tips, problems, and strategies used in teaching the adult workshops are much like the ones in the classroom. She goes on to discuss the different values that adult learners have such as valuing the opportunity to interact with other learners and valuing enough time to talk, reflect, and construct meaning. She also talks about things the adult learners do not enjoy such as being passive while a presenter lectures and lack of support and follow-up. She even gives a link to a list of characteristics of adult learners. I wrote to Ms. Sackson about how as an adult student, I really enjoyed this post because I could relate to the different characteristics and values she discusses. I explained that although I feel like I appreciate the opportunity to learn more as an adult, I do still technically learn the same way I did as a young learner.
"Learning by Doing: An Inquiry into Inquiry"
In Edna Sackson's post on June 7, 2012, she discusses an assignment she is given while still training for her workshops. They are sent in groups on an exploration of Thai culture. Their mission is not to go out and find facts but to focus on the process of inquiry. It is a journey of inquiry into inquiry. Through their journey they realize that inquiry is not linear, and it is rarely cyclical. Sackson states that, "the process moves back and forth between asking, investigating, reflecting, connecting, constructing meaning..." She describes inquiry as having "no map, no set pattern and it can be messy." They learned not only about the Thai culture, but about the process of learning itself. I responded to her that I think this process of inquiry is great for students and teachers alike. It encourages their creativity to continue to ask questions. I think this also ties in to what Sir Ken Robinson said, "If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original." This process inspires to be ask questions, to get it wrong, and to try again.
I was so excited to see that the first day after my comment, Ms. Sackson had responded and even said she would check out my blog. I believe she will be a great resource now and in the future.