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The Art of Teaching Adults.



The Art of Teaching Adults, by Peter Renner, Book, 2005, PFR Training Associates Ltd., $28.

The Art of Teaching Adults: How to Become an Exceptional Instructor & Facilitator is the expanded tenth-anniversary edition of The Instructor's Survival Guide published in 1978. The intent then and now remains to be a "practical, how to book that must be used to be useful." In the new re-titled edition, the number of activities has increased, and the design and layout have changed.

Peter Renner has worked for 30 years in higher education higher education

Study beyond the level of secondary education. Institutions of higher education include not only colleges and universities but also professional schools in such fields as law, theology, medicine, business, music, and art.
 and corporate classrooms, offering instructional design Instructional design is the practice of arranging media (communication technology) and content to help learners and teachers transfer knowledge most effectively. The process consists broadly of determining the current state of learner understanding, defining the end goal of  and facilitation Facilitation

The process of providing a market for a security. Normally, this refers to bids and offers made for large blocks of securities, such as those traded by institutions.
 skills to managers and faculty. In that time, he also found time to publish several books and complete a doctorate in educational leadership. Lately, he has launched a new career as an end-of-life counselor with the alaya institute in San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden .

My first thought while browsing the contents of this book was, I know this! After years of experience, topics like planning a session, declaring objectives, setting up a room, generating participation, showing videos, and assessing the course didn't hold much interest for me--until I sat down and read the book. (Always a good thing if you're doing a book review!)

The book suggests we ask two questions:

1. What is my approach, defined as underlying biases, preferences, and values, to teaching?

2. How do I choose the tools in this book to support that approach?

What I liked

Here are the characteristics of the book that I liked the most:

* Page layout :For the Wikipedia policy about articles layout, see Wikipedia:Guide to layout. Page layout is the part of graphic design that deals in the arrangement and style treatment of elements (content) on a page. . The page layout has two columns. The narrower column presents quotes, tips, and diagrams, and the other carries the text. Templates and diagrams are boxed in Adj. 1. boxed in - enclosed in or as if in a box; "boxed cigars"; "a confining boxed-in space"; "felt boxed in by the traffic"
boxed-in, boxed

enclosed - closed in or surrounded or included within; "an enclosed porch"; "an enclosed yard"; "the enclosed check
 grey so they stand out.

* Quotes. I love good quotes because they make me think. One quote by Peter Renner is making me re-evaluate my role as a corporate educator: "What would happen if in your workshop 'not knowing' and 'not understanding' were considered honorable behaviors?" The idea of designing training to arouse curiosity and use tools to explore possibilities is something I'm thinking about, as I transition myself into a new work role.

* Audience. This book is written for the adult educator in both corporate and higher education. Although some chapters are specific to those who teach in higher ed, you can adapt an idea, a quote, or a summary to your environment.

* Practical aids. Templates, checklists, and self-assessments are plentiful plen·ti·ful  
adj.
1. Existing in great quantity or ample supply.

2. Providing or producing an abundance: a plentiful harvest.
, short, and easy to use.

* Tone. The book is written in a conversational style and has an informal but clear-cut presentation that includes sidebar (1) A Windows Vista desktop panel that holds mini applications (gadgets) such as a calendar, calculator, stock ticker and Vonage phone dialer. It is the Windows counterpart to the Dashboard in the Mac. See Windows Vista and gadget.  summaries, tips, ideas, and questions are asked. Here's one of the questions: Are icebreakers necessary? Research has an answer.

* Activities. The book has many activities; variations of some of them are included.

* Terms defined. A glossary A term used by Microsoft Word and adopted by other word processors for the list of shorthand, keyboard macros created by a particular user. See glossaries in this publication and The Computer Glossary.  of terms removes any doubt about the meaning of terms used in the text. That's helpful considering the multiple meanings of training terms.

What I would have liked more of

Here are some things the author can do to improve an already worthwhile book:

* Description of activities. I'd like to be able to find essential information about activities such as the number of people and the objective more easily.

* Activity matrix. A matrix listing all the activities and their characteristics (e.g., Active or passive exercise? Instructor- or learner-led?) and the page numbers where they can be found would make the book even easier to use.

* Clarity in Chapter 9. This chapter combines questions to be used with learners and questions about pressing issues adult educators face--and that makes the chapter a little confusing.

* Estimating training time. The suggestion to try it, time it, and try it again makes sense. Still, I would like a more precise formula for calculating the amount of time a training will take--if one exists.

Recommendation

On his website Peter Renner has the following quote: "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few" (Shunryu Suzuki Shunryu Suzuki (鈴木 俊隆 Suzuki Shunryū, dharma name Shogaku Shunryu) (May 18, 1904 - December 4, 1971) was a Soto Zen priest born in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan. Suzuki was occasionally mistaken for the Zen scholar D.T.  Roshi ro·shi  
n. pl. ro·shis
The spiritual leader of a group of Zen Buddhists.



[Japanese rshi, old master.]
, founder of the San Francisco Zen Center San Francisco Zen Center (SFZC) is the largest Sōtō Zen temple and practice organization in the United States and possibly anywhere outside of Japan. SFZC is made up of three temples:
  • City Center (Beginner's Mind Temple; 發心寺,
). It's true. Everything old can be new again. It's all in how you look at it. The Art of Teaching Adults can help you look at the topic with fresh eyes.

Review by Mireille Massue
Product Ratings

The Art of Teaching Adults

Holds user interest  ***
Production quality   ***
Value of Content     ***
Self-Study Value     ***
Instructional Value  ***
Value for the money  ***
Overall rating       ***
COPYRIGHT 2006 TMR Publications
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Massue, Mireille
Publication:Training Media Review
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:722
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