Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Learning Strategies this Weekend

This weekend, I am leading two workshops in the Yokkaichi Teachers' Development Initiative that we do here at Yokkaichi University. The first one is on presentations. The teachers will be doing presentations on their projects during the final gathering, so Andy and I wanted to work with the teachers to make their presentations more understandable, useful, and stress-free.

Then I'll be doing a workshop in the afternoon on learning strategies. This time I am focusing on the search for self awareness as a learning strategy. there are lots of different approaches to learning strategies. Jill Robbins, among others, has been doing work in strategies for years. I have one of her books, The Learning Strategies Handbook. It's alright. They have it all pretty much spelled out there, and it's a useful resource.

But I think an understanding of Howard Gardner's Seven Intelligences and the Enneagram, for example, give teachers insights into how really different people are. I think many people would say that we are all different, but I'm not sure how many people know just how very different we really are to one another. I don't think teachers really know how they are from their charges, or how students differ one from another. Especially in a country where there is one central ministry that controls education for 128 million people.

If we as teachers can be aware of differences and how they effect our students' learning and our teaching, we can help them grow in significant ways as well as help them learn a language.

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