Sunday, June 18, 2017

Androgogy vs Pedagogy

How will understanding the history of Andragogy, and how it differs from Pedagogy, help you in your practice?

Learning the difference between how and why adults learn compared to children is important. It really boils down to two key areas: motivation and responsibility.

First, let's look at motivation. Kids and adults are similarly motivated.

 There  are some students who are internally motivated who love learning for the sake of learning, other students are motivated by rewards and punishments, and others who simply are not motivated and invested in learning at all.

Adults, when they go back to school or take a class, are usually doing it because they are getting something out of it. It may be an increase in pay or an increase in self-esteem. Sometimes, they are taking a class simply because they are told to for their jobs.

Responsibility of learning is a huge difference. 

The most accepted pedagogy is that children do not hold primary responsibility for their learning. They lack prior knowledge and experience and must rely heavily on the teacher not only for what to learn, but how to learn. Students are not often given the chance to reflect on their learning and how they learning before moving on to the next skill. Students often wonder, "Why do we have to know this?" for all sorts of topics and if the student does not find the connection, they may not retain the information.

Adults, however, are expected to take responsibility for learning. They have many years of experience and instructors value those experiences. Typically, an adult in a learning setting is learning material that is relevant to their lives. The "Why do we have to know this" is tied to why they are taking the class. A teacher knows why he or she is attending professional development. An engineering student understands the value of taking calculus. This results in the learning making consistent meaningful connections to the information.

I do not understand the assumption that children are not expected to take responsibility for their learning and participate in reflections of what they have learned. A good teacher will take the experiences children have and tie it into what they are learning. Young students should have the opportunity to have responsibility for their own learning. This should increase student motivation.

When it comes to teaching adults, we also can't forget that sometimes adults have to take classes and do things that they don't want to do. And, typically the same type of motivations that work for unmotivated children, work for unmotivated adults. Someone once told me you could judge how interesting a PD would be by what was on the table: If there were plenty of treats, expect it to be extremely boring.

According to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, there are six principles of adult learning:

  • Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
  • Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences
  • Adults are goal oriented
  • Adults are relevancy oriented
  • Adults are practical
  • Adult learners like to be respected

To be perfectly honest, you can substitute children for just about every one of those besides internal motivation and goal oriented, and even then, you will find those children who could be described in those terms.

Perhaps because I teach older children and have homeschooled in the past (and again this next school year!) that I expect students to be more self-directed. Students definitely want to know why, they want the steps to be clear and practical, and they definitely want to be respected. We can't discount how their life experiences and prior knowledge add to (and unfortunately, sometimes detract from) the classroom.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Teaching Adults vs Children

I spent several years teach adults before I went back to college to learn how to teach children.

My first steps into teaching adults were a complete disaster. I clearly remember being asked to teach an adult Sunday School class at church. I was 18 years old and teaching people who were far more knowledgeable about pretty much everything. The word intimidated doesn't even begin to describe what I was feeling. Our church is very organized and streamlined, and therefore there is a curriculum for teachers, and a handbook for students. My very first lesson, I stood up and read directly from the teacher manual. It was so awful. There was another teacher who was vibrant and creative. He engaged every single adult and everyone wanted to attend his classes. Our Bishop had to ask people to attend mine. I lasted three months.

I didn't teach adults again another 12 years.

I also didn't teach children either, except for the nursery class of 18 month to three year olds.

Around the time I was asked to teach adults at church again, I also transitioned from being a member of the non-profit La Leche League to being a leader. This meant I had to teach monthly meetings, answer phone calls at all hours, and to train other leaders. LLL also had leader manual with meeting topics, but it was far less specific than the manual for teaching at church. I had to learn how to reach mothers in a way that was meaningful and helpful to them. They were coming to the meetings because they needed something specific. They kept coming because there was a feeling of sisterhood. My lessons mattered because most of the women only came for one or two meetings. I had to maximize their learning and, most importantly build a relationship of trust. Women who needed support from LLL needed to feel comfortable talking to a complete stranger about breastfeeding and ask for help.

When I started teaching at church again. I was asked to attend a teacher class. My eyes were opened! A good lesson began with an object lesson, some comparison of a Gospel topic to an everyday object. In my education program, I learned this was called a hook. Each lesson started with the small idea and built up to the big ideas. Each week, the lessons built on each other. In the education world, we think of this as scaffolding.

As I went through my education classes, learning to be a"real" teacher, many of those same ideas and principles I learned through my church classes, were techniques used in teaching children.

Teaching children is not all that different from teaching adults. The teacher is still competing for attention with devices and all the other things going on in the students' heads. The teacher still needs to find a way to draw the students into the lesson. No one wants to sit in a lecture and listen to a person drone on and on.

I would often post links and lessons on Google Classroom for my students, but once they left my room, it was impossible to follow up and make sure they watched the extra lessons. The students promised they would watch and a quick survey the next class showed very few of them did.

The same thing happens for adults taking online classes. We wait until the last possible minute and if we have time, watch the extra lessons, but more often than not, we try to skate by doing the minimum. That's probably more of a confession than anything else. With five kids at home for the summer, and one leaving for college in six weeks, I have to force myself to do my homework. I have to force myself to do my housework, to be honest. There are so many other things I would rather be doing. I am an adult. I know better! But, when it comes down to it, teaching adults is not all that different than teaching students. And being an adult student, isn't all that different than when I was a young student--except the tech toys are so much better.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas ornament swap

Once again I participated in a Christmas ornament swap. I received so many cute ornaments. 

The plan this year was to have one tree full of handmade woodland ornaments. But, the whole Costco being out of trees meant we had to use my tree as the family tree. None of my beautiful woodland ornaments made it on the tree. Maybe next year!

Before I share the ornaments, I wanted to show poor Chester. I found him at Dirt Cheap for just $1. He needed a home and a little glue...

Soon enough he was good as new!

His birdie friend doesn't have s name yet.  Chester was more than happy to oversee the unpacking of his forest friends...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Home Tour

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house
Only mother was scurrying not quite quiet as a mouse
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
And mother was glad St. Nick wasn't soon to be there

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of finals danced in their heads.
Father in his PJs all ready for his nap,
And mother silently cursing, "Now, where did I put that?"

When from out of the closet mother created such a clatter,
Father slid from his bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the living room, he groggily puttered
Tore open the door, rolled his eyes and muttered:

"What are you doing, up at this hour so late?
Is it really worth it to make the house look great?"
When what to his tired eyes should appear
but a great big mess and adhesives that won't adhere

With a jingle and jangle and a little thud
I just knew my Christmas tour was a total dud.
More rapid than eagles, this holiday came
And I fussed and fretted, and tried still the same.

I set out the snowmen, the penguins and bows
And really just hoped that everything goes
There are too many Santas, some sort of scary
And, no one knows what happened to Mary.

Several boxes are missing, including the lights
So our tree won't shine much during the night
Our electric bill will surely be lower
without the outdoor lights sucking the power!

But it's still Christmas and I'll be a good elf
Put up the decorations I have, in spite of myself
If you wink your eyes and turn your heads
Maybe my home won't be something to dread

So spring to your keyboards, and leave a nice word
Even if you think my decorating is absolutely absurd.
Enter the drawing, visit the other sites
Happy Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!


So here's the deal...

Myself and 14 other bloggers, totally put off Christmas decorating and sharing. Today, we're bringing you the Procrastinators' Christmas Home Tour and a give away with a chance to win a $50 gift card to Online Fabric Store or Farmhouse Decor Shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit all the other bloggers participating!

I  had every intention of putting up the tree in early December, just like every year. However, this year, my husband suggested I not get a tree until closer to his birthday (Dec. 14). So, Saturday night, we headed to Costco to get a tree only to find them completely sold out! Not good! Costco was really the only affordable place to get a tall tree.

Instead, we had to break out the 7.5 ft tall pre-lit artificial tree and prop it up on a box to make it look taller.

Only to discover that the pre-lit part is only partially functioning and the box full of Christmas lights is completely missing!

Guess what is also missing?

My entire nativity set!

Solution? Just line up all the other weird nativity sets I have and just pretend it's a depiction of Jesus' early life and that Jesus, Mary and Joseph have already fled to Egypt! That's totally the story I'm going with when the kids ask...

I still have some points of JOY in my holiday decorating:

JOY is one of my recent finds at Dirt Cheap. I plan to keep it up year round to remind me that we're supposed to have JOY in our lives.

Even Edmund has a festive little nest for Christmas.

Let's make our way outside...

But first, a stop in the vestibule

Out the door..And on to the porch...Because everyone needs a mantle on their front porch

Friday, December 5, 2014

16 Candy Cane Ideas for Christmas

Tis the season for candy canes! Candy canes pop up in everything from body wash (my fave from Bath & Body Works), to hot cocoa and, of course, decorating.

I was invited by HomeTalk to gather some really fun Candy Cane inspired decorating ideas. Head on over and check out my Candy Cane Creativity clipboard and all the other great ideas on Hometalk.

16 Candy Cane Decorating ideas

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book review: It's In His Kiss

A book has been provided for my honest review.

 It's in His Kiss Author: Jill Shalvis ISBN:978-1455529520 Genre: Fiction, romance, contemporary Release: August 26, 2014 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 368 Pages

 Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now’s her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam’s eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile. Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can’t resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca’s heart?

About Jill Shalvis

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
Connect with Jill Shalvis:
BUY It's in His Kiss on Amazon

It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis


There's something special about holding a paper book in your hands. I've been spending so much time reading on my Kindle, I'd completely forgotten how nice it is to just sit down with a real book in my hands... Besides a textbook.

It's In His Kiss is a contemporary romance novel set in the Washington coast. The setting alone drew me in. It made me a teensy bit homesick. Knowing how cold the water is out there for surfers helped to make Sam a bit more rugged in my head. It takes a special kind of person to willingly do anything other than fishing in those cold waters!

The book hooked me from the start and I read it every chance. It isn't a "clean read" but it also doesn't fall in to the "bodice ripper" category. I loaned the book to my mom and she said she was easily able to skip "those parts." We both finished the book in a day. That's probably not typical! We are fast readers.

My favorite character, by far, was the spunky senior, Lucille. She was wonderful comic relief and I would absolutely love to read her backstory (hint, hint).

I would have also liked to see a Becca's past a bit more developed in the beginning. It took time to get to her history and I was impatient. I had to keep reading because I just had to know! So I guess the author's timing worked since I was so sucked in.

Given that I loaned the book to my mom, it's definitely one that I would recommend for a nice, light read.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The cheap and easy way to get shredded chicken and stock

Getting meals done in a hurry is a priority. I love cooking but sometimes I just don't want to do it. 

I've been turning to my crockpot more and more with the demand of school and work piling up. I don't just use the crock pot for meals but also meal prep. Instead of buying a rotisserie chicken or canned chicken for those nights I want a quick casserole, I use my crock pot.

In the weekends when I have time (or at least pretend I do), I throw bone-in chicken breasts or thighs in to the crockpot, veggies, and cover with water. 

Sometimes I take the time to chop a veggie trio, but on really lazy weeks, I just throw in veggie scraps I've accumulated along the way. 

After covering the vegetables and chicken, I toss in some salt and pepper. It cooks on low for 8-10 hours. 

When I'm done, I have plenty of precooked shredded chicken ready to go in to vacuum bags in the freezer. Since most recipes call for 2 cups of chicken, I fill the bags accordingly.

Now what to do with what's left in the pot?

I set it in fridge overnight  to allow the fat to come to the top and then remove it. At this point, I also strain out the vegetables and throw them away. I'm sure there's another use for them but honestly, I don't care for mushy vegetables.

At this point I'm left with a big pot of chicken stock. The great part is the homemade stock is Gluten Free! I was shocked to learn some store bought stocks had gluten. I don't get the point of needing to add wheat to broth. Sort of defeats the purpose. 

For storing the stock, I recommend freezing it in ice cube trays first, then placing them in zipper freezer bags or using vacuum sealer.