WHERE IS THE LEARNER?
Ask yourself as a learning facilitator - where is the learner?
Is s/he physiologically ready to learn? Is s/he getting enough sleep, enough to eat, and living in an acceptable environment. Is s/he psychologically ready to learn? Does s/he come from a loving, stable home with a sense of security? Maslow has provided a great model for us to use when assessing the learner. It is imperative that each learner is met physiologically and psychologically at the appropriate level and readiness for learning. Connects U! is full of information that will assist the Learning Facilitator in providing supports for the learner, material for growing as a Learning Facilitator, and resources that will enhance the Learner and the Learner experience.
In our quest to provide learners with ideal learning experiences, we forget that "they do not care to know unless they know you care." Connection is at the heart of the learning experience. This is not necessarily true for ALL learners but we are finding that many, many learners have not experienced the kind of connection that lays the foundation for intrinsic motivation. Use Maslow's Hierarchy to assist in determining the kind of assistance necessary to help each learner connect to the Learning Facilitator and to the learning.
Assuming that the learner is connected to someone and is operating at a functional level, content and pedagogy will now come in to play. Again, ask "Where is the leaner?" When learners are ready to engage, it is imperative that we meet them at their readiness level, interest level, and incorporate learning style where appropriate.
Once engaged, the learner is ready to grow and learn. The more we get the learner to"own" the learning, the more he or she will develop intrinsic motivation, the key to the ideal learning experience. Here we ask the question again. "Where is the learner?" We empower as soon as we can and, although it is not sequential, we know that if anyone is not connected in some way and is not engaged, empowering is highly unlikely to occur.