How might professional learning be tailored to the way people like to learn and work?

We learn and work the way we like to, naturally, as individual. Why do organizations insist on treating all adult learners the same way?

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As I sit in my hotel room about to embark on the annual two-day teaching & learning adventure known as the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) convention, I wonder about the tens of thousands of people about to descend on Atlantic City in search of improved professional practice. I'm part of the show, doing a few of workshops and helping out in our first-ever Makerspace, but I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to my "sit and get" (in my case, "stand and deliver") workshops.

Why?

Because no matter what you do, and how well you prepare, every audience is going to be made up of learners with different needs, wants, levels of experience and ways they like to learn and work. As the session leader, it's my job to make sure they all go home happy. Good luck with that, as they say!

This past summer, I had the opportunity to attend the Critical Skills Program at Antioch University. Specifically, the Level 1 Institute. One of the first things we did as learners was identify our position on the "personality compass," which I'd never heard of before. Understanding these groupings made a huge difference in how we worked together in teams and even individually. 

What if professional learning embraced personality and work styles in meaningful ways as part of planning and delivery? 

Full disclosure: I'm running a workshop on Friday afternoon with a colleague here and we're using the Personality Compass for groupings. I'll report back!

-kj-

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Photo of Brian

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