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Demanding behaviour from Adults learning ICT

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by actyler, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. I am new to teaching and am teaching mainly older adults (e.g. 'silver surfers') ICT in the community. I want to manage potentially disruptive behaviours such as attention seeking, disruptive extraversion, moodiness and whining so that everyone in the class can learn effectively and get a fair share of my time. I didn't expect adults to behave so badly (childishly?). Most are well motivated so I don't always understand why they behave badly.
    I have considered two possible strategies for developing a positive learning environment:
    1. negotiating class behavioural rules, e.g. putting hands up before speaking
    irectly to problem individuals to discover any issues
    a. am I on the right lines?
    b. does anyone have any advice for encouraging good behaviour in such a group?
    c. are there any special approaches that I should be taking for older (mostly retired) learners?

    Grateful for any wisdom from you folk who may have years more experience than me!

    Andrew
     
  2. I am new to teaching and am teaching mainly older adults (e.g. 'silver surfers') ICT in the community. I want to manage potentially disruptive behaviours such as attention seeking, disruptive extraversion, moodiness and whining so that everyone in the class can learn effectively and get a fair share of my time. I didn't expect adults to behave so badly (childishly?). Most are well motivated so I don't always understand why they behave badly.
    I have considered two possible strategies for developing a positive learning environment:
    1. negotiating class behavioural rules, e.g. putting hands up before speaking
    irectly to problem individuals to discover any issues
    a. am I on the right lines?
    b. does anyone have any advice for encouraging good behaviour in such a group?
    c. are there any special approaches that I should be taking for older (mostly retired) learners?

    Grateful for any wisdom from you folk who may have years more experience than me!

    Andrew
     
  3. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    As Cosmos says, don't worry too much about noise from the class. If they are talking whilst you are, then that is a problem. Simply stop talking your self, and wait for the offenders to start listening, but if there is a mild hubub whilst they are on an activity then that should not really be a problem. If you think the hubub is getting out of hand, just make a shushing sound and remind the class they may be disturbing an adjoining class.
    Perhaps if you think of your classes as "learning sessions" rather than "teaching sessions". Not every thing has to go through you at the front. If, as I found a lot (!), one member of the class was trying to explain something to a class collegue, concerning what I was talking about, I would ask them to "share it with the whole class". Very often, the adult learner I was dealing with, had extra knowledge to mine that was very useful to the class. I would talk in a positve manner - eg. "That sounds very interesting / useful. Could you share it with the others"
    When a student contributes to the class, always thank them for their contribution. I think that it is very important to the students themselves, that their skills and knowledge are recognised.
    Don't loose your rag and shout or anything like that. I allowed myself to look a bit concerned and to say "Excuse me" when I felt I had to bring a class to order, but it is very unconstructive to show emotion. I would hold my hand half way up to add a bit of body language to my "excuse me".
    Be patient not only with your classes but with yourself. You will try lots of different techniques in front of your classes and slowly learn what works and what doesn't. Take note of how other teachers and lecturers do it, if you have the chance, but don't copy them without thinking about it. It may not work for you. I found that if I treated my students as adults they eventually began to behave as such!!!
    Don't expect to be "perfect". This concept from the politicians who ride on our backs, has to be one of the most damaging things dumped on education in the last 20 - 30 years. Might as well give up now!! Nobody is perfect!
    All the best and good luck with your classes.
     

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