This excerpt from a LinkedIn post By Brad Smith, the former CEO of Intuit, speaks volumes for the importance of creating a strong culture of learning.
“I’m often asked what skill, experience or attribute I find most important in today’s fast-changing environment. Looking back, it has become clear that one skill stands the test of time, and I believe will be increasingly in-demand as we push ahead in the 21st Century. That skill is agility.
Here is a great excerpt from his post.
Agility is defined as the ability and willingness to learn from experience, and then apply that learning to perform successfully under new situations. It is a combination of “act” and “react,” with the velocity of learning being as important as the accuracy of outcomes. As the adage reminds us – it is not “the big that eat the small, it is the fast that eat the slow.”
I have found three particular leadership actions useful for fostering the mindset and capability to optimize for agility:
Tuesday, August 17, from 1-2:00 pm Central Standard Time
As teachers or trainers work to design learning experiences that account for the full range of student learning needs, we ask them to consider 3 key factors:
Student Learning Differences—The profoundly different ways in which students learn,
Teaching Preferences, and how they may impact student learning
Stretching strategies for taking a growth-oriented approach to teaching
This free About Learning webinar will journey through these three crucial factors to help teachers create more engaging and inclusive teaching methods
In Moving Beyond Learner Differences, we will review the 4MAT Model of Learning and provide an overview of the different strategies that teachers employ around the 4MAT Cycle. Some of the more under-utilized approaches will be covered and how these can help transform student learning. And finally, we will provide an overview of the key teaching strategies that you might see as you progress through the 4 Quadrants of Learning
Moving Beyond Student Learning Differences With Diverse Teaching Methods DATE: Tuesday, August 17th TIME: 1:00-2:00 PM CST
Our goal in this session is to help empower educators to design instruction that accounts for the different ways people learn.
4MAT® Quadrant 1 is about Making Personal Connections.
QUADRANT ONE: ANSWERING THE WHY? QUESTION
You open the learning process in Quadrant One, bounded by the parameters of direct experience at 12:00 and reflective observation at 3:00.
Oneness: What Students Will Experience
• Personal, meaningful connections based on experience • Shared storytelling to correlate meaning • Meaningful dialogue (no telling in Quadrant One, please) with peers about the possible meaning of the material • How to see the material in context, encompassed in some larger idea • How to speak in their own subjective voice
The goal in quadrant 1 is to build camaraderie and to give students a sense of having been there, too. Students will experience the diversity of how others see things while gaining insights into their own experiences in discussions with others. This often creates high interest in the material to come. This is where students become aware of the value of learning.
In Quadrant 1, students will: • Experience the discrepancies that learning will unravel • Focus on present and past understandings • Gain a sense of I know something about this, and I want to know more
The climate is one of trust and openness, with permission and encouragement to explore diverse meanings. The method is discussion of experiences. The students engage in collaborative learning, each contributing their individuality. The teacher initiates, motivates, and creates experiences that captures their atttention and encourages perspective sharing.
Dialogue is at the root of the learning process. —Asa Hilliard
Your teaching task in Quadrant One is to engage students in an experience that will lead them to value and pursue the learning you initiate. Get them to see how the material will connect to their lives.
Learning is not rote; it is how we make meaning. It is directly related to how we feel about what we learn. When we talk about successful learning, we are talking about feeling, answering the Why?” questions:
• Why do I need to know this • Why is this material valuable in my life? • Is there a larger relatable context?
Answer these questions by making connections with your opening activity.
For example, how would you address the Why? when teaching fractions to a fifth grade class?
Would your answer be Because it is in the fifth grade math book, or Because it will be on the achievement test, or Because the state standards require this.
All those reasons have some validity, but they have no personal meaning for students.
Why do children need to learn fractions?
Because they can use them. When they understand that we can look at sections of things in order to comprehend the wholeness of things, when they understand that we can manipulate parts to rearrange wholes, when they understand that some things can be understood discretely, then they will see the importance of fractionness.
In other words, the content you teach must carry its own Why? and its own benefit outside of school. Your students must see the validity of the content for themselves, or you will struggle to keep them focused and attentive.
What is a humanizing relationship? One that reflects the qualities of kindness, mercy, consideration, tenderness, love, concern, compassion, cooperation, responsiveness and friendship. Education needs to focus on human interaction.
In the following months we will be posting mini blogs to discuss the values found in using 4MAT for corporate learning. Subsequent ones will focus on the gifts and skills of each of the four quadrants and the enrichments achieved through 4MAT understandings and use.
The earliest users of the 4MAT Model perceived what a difference cycle knowing could make for learners everywhere. We wondered together if this kind of Cycle knowing could make a real difference in students’ lives, why not in business and corporate learners?
Could learning how to learn bring discipline, balance and perhaps transformation to an organization? In our research a profile of the learning organization emerged, problem solving, decision making, team building a continuing renewal by going through the cycle, from meaning to structure, to operations, and new adapted understandings.
One of our first corporate clients reported:
“From our organizational structure, to the formation of a project team, to the planning for a meeting, to the everyday dialogue, we experience the value of differences. 4MAT has helped us to accomplish this. We have woven an organizational fabric that has a rich texture, with diversity proving to be amazingly strong and resilient.” —Randall Murphy, founder of Acclivus
In the 4MAT Framework of balance and wholes, There is a real community in which a common vision is shared, There is a defined and agreed-upon structure that is congruent with the vision, Methods that honor the vision are in place to accomplish and monitor goals, Refocusing procedures are in place for continued stretching the possible boundaries.
Michael J. Friedlander is the executive director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and professor of biological sciences and of biomedical engineering and science atVirginiaTech.
He is the lead author on this article entitled The Neurobiology of Learning. This article provides 10 recommendations for learning design that were made by a prestigious panel of brain experts.
They believe that by incorporating these recommendations into instructional design more effective teaching will result.
We created an article summarizing the 10 recommendations from this panel, along with our comments in yellow on how these concepts relate to the 4MAT Design Model, a tool for creating more dynamic and engaging instruction.
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