Action, Adult learning

Our Learning Pledge

“What’s the ‘big idea’ for our conference?” Jim asked.
“That kids need to be more engaged… actively involved in learning activities.”
“And how are we starting?”
“With your 90 minute keynote speech…”

-Opening page of 17,000 Classroom Visits Can’t Be Wrong
by John Antonetti and James Garver

Last year, I attended a webinar on micro-learning… that was delivered over the course of an hour without break.

Last week, I attended a workshop on strategies for a highly engaged nonprofit board. The speaker took his first break for audience engagement after 60 minutes.

I do wonder if these presenters have any inkling that their dramatically ironic delivery drives people to their devices in ways that directly defeats their message.

pledge.jpgSo it may be time to reaffirm our solemn pledge as people offering learning experiences to busy people.

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

  • I will respect the hard-won scientific research of people who study learning, behavior, and psychology in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
  • I will apply, for the benefit of anyone listening to me, all measures [that] are required, avoid those twin traps of talking too much and sharing too little reflection time.
  • I will remember that there is art to learning as well as science, and that an emotional connection outweighs excessive outlay of content.
  • I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the teaching skills of another are needed for someone to learn.
  • I will prevent inaction whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to having to call a consultant in later.
  • If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the job of teaching those who seek my wisdom.

Together with colleagues, I’m working on making sure every nonprofit learning event in Washington is awesome. Let me know if you want to join us.

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