Development of client’s competences – practical skills
Methods to teach / learn practical skills
Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Essential Project Design Elements are:
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, communication, collaboration, and self-management.
- Challenging Problem or Question – The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
- Sustained Inquiry – Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Authenticity – The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
- Student Voice & Choice – Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
- Reflection – Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
- Critique & Revision – Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
- Public Product – Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.
To get a visual idea of it, use this video:
This method helps to memorize content of difficult texts. Explain the method (with the help of a prepared metaplan) to the participants and practice this method with them (with a text of your choice). To edit a text, we recommend the following five steps:
- Survey (gain an overview): familiarize yourself with the essential information of the text (table of contents, headings, authors, summaries, etc.). This helps to quickly gain an overview of the content.
- Question (questions): The text is interrogated by means of central questions, e.g. what information do I need? Are I already familiar with the subject of the text? What additional information do I get in this text? How is the text different from my previous knowledge?
- Read: The text must be read in a concentrated manner. Important passages should be marked / underlined or provided with edge notices.
- Recite: The text will be repeated by chapter or by paragraph, verbally or in writing.
- Review (Repeat): By a final repetition, the sub-results should be combined into an overall result.
So what can it do?
The method has been shown to improve a readers understanding, and his/her ability to recall information. In other words, the reader is more likely to learn, and to learn more, of the material he/she is reading. If you use this method, reading won’t be a waste of your time.
How does it work?
In this method you follow five steps – Preview, Question, Read, Self-recite and Test (PQRST). The middle three steps apply to every section within a chapter whilst the first and last steps apply to the chapter itself. You may find that many textbooks are compiled in a way which makes this method easy to apply, using an introductory passage, and questions at the end.
What do I have to do?
- Preview. First of all, preview the entire chapter – skim through it all so you know what you’re going to be covering. One way to do this is read the chapter introduction, look at the headings, read the section introductions and check out the figures. Then read the summary at the end of the chapter (it usually tells you what you have learnt in that chapter).
- Question. As you read through each section, start by asking yourself “what am I supposed to learn in this section”. This helps to get your brain in to sync with the topic being discussed.
- Read. At last, you can actually read that section. Do it carefully, think about the meaning and relate this to other things you know about this and similar topics. Do some underlining or highlighting of key words. Don’t overdo it! If you want to take notes, read the whole section first, and then summarise it later.
- Self-recitation. Once you have finished reading, think back about what were the main ideas you learnt. Try and recite some of this information aloud (unless you are on the MRT or in the library). Check back against the text, and note the things you missed out. Ensure that you didn’t miss them out because you haven’t learnt them. Only then go on to the next section and Question again.
- Test. So now you have finished the chapter (or a major section if the chapter contains large dissimilar sections). Test yourself and review all the material. If you made notes, read through these. Think about the relevance of what you learnt and how it all fits together. Reread any chapter summaries. Even though you have only just read the chapter, now is the best time to test yourself.
The concept of Future Workshops goes back to the ideas of Robert Jungk on how to involve people directly affected by political decisions into the decision-making process and was first published in Future Workshops: How to Create Desirable Futures, by Robert Jungk and Norbert Mullert (Institute for Social Inventions, UK, 1987). While the authors see an application of this method in all fields of society, they themselves concentrate in their work mostly on communities and political action groups.
What is it?
A future-workshop is a method for planning and forming future: it helps to find causals, to create a vision and to define aims. This demands two 3 hour sessions. The results are reported in between the sessions and the final outcome is discussed in reflection session among all project partners.
How is it used?
Workshops can be used as participatory self-reflective methods of both gathering data and supporting the organisation in the change process.
Future workshop method consists of three phases:
Designed to draw out specific issues and problems in question/producing a critical understanding of the problem
- Collection of critique points (by written cards/brainstorming)
- Systematisation (clustering) on a pin board
- Evaluation, condensation, intensification, priorities
- Imaginative introduction (meditation, work, walks …)
- Turn critique points into the opposite (bad to good) as starting points
- Collect ideas (brain writing)
- Preparing and performing a role play, fable, report, painting, fairytale to a fantastic story (as group work)
- A common analysis of these performances with regard to good solutions/ideas
- Extract, write down an “idea store” on a pin board
- Evaluate the concepts of the “idea store” with regard to realistic conditions and best fit (PM-method)
- Put in more concrete terms, the best-suited concepts (group work)
- Choose the best one
- Build an action plan: Who does what, where, when and how?
What does it tell?
The results are used as one source of data for producing the evaluation and foreseeing tool/method for workplace management of productive knowledge workplaces. It indicates the user experience and also works as a supporting method for employees to adjust to new situation.
Method of Loci
Method of Loci
This technique is as old as ancient democracy: The method of loci, used by Greek and Roman senators to hold their intoxicating speeches in front of the senate. It was proscribed to use any kind of notes, so they were using this brilliant technique to jack up their memory. Rhetorical geniuses like Cicero went through their palaces, gardens and any other kind of locations (Latin: loci) and memorized the order of every single object in their paths.
To remember a speech, they broke it into pieces and created symbols for every single part. Then they put those symbols into the different loci . To recall them they visualized the path and went from one station to another, where they remembered the symbols and translated them back into the speech. According to Cicero in “De Oratore”, the method of loci was invented by the Greek poet Simonides about 500 BC:
What Simonides did is easy to reproduce, since remembering a route from A to B in its detail has once been part of the survival strategy of mankind. Everyone can try it like this: Close your eyes and remember the objects in your room. You will know exactly where your bed, your sofa, your table and your computer are. Imagine to go outside your room – can you see the corridor and the other rooms? Can you even leave the house and wander through your garden? Maybe you can jump to your workplace and see your office. You just discovered the method of loci!
Why is the method of loci so powerful? On one hand it is using the natural memory for locations. Even if a client has the feeling to easily loose orientation, he/she is able to remember his/her own room in its detail. On the other hand it provides a logical order. The client just has to walk through the room clockwise or counter clockwise and all the objects will be in a specific order.
Call each route to be created with this method a path. It is a track that represents the most easily navigated way between an origin and a destination. Each time it is used, it becomes stronger and grows wider. A memory athlete is using his paths over and over again.
Step 1 – Pick a location
To use this technique, ask the client to choose his/her first location. It can be anywhere he/she like but the client should pick the one he/she know best for the first path. That could be own room, own flat, house or the own workspace. If a client likes, he/she can also create an imaginary path. But it is harder to memorize in the beginning, so it could be better to choose a real location first.
Step 2 – Define the Way-Points
When clients picked first location, they have to define all the objects they want to use as way-points in their path. The way-points will be the stations a client have to pass, each time he/she is memorizing any kind of information with it. The number of way-points will determine the length of the route – and therewith the amount of information client can store on it. One single room can easily include twenty way-points. I suggest that client’s first path should have about 10 stations. If you stick to some rules, the path will become more efficiently. But those rules are just a guideline – you can break them whenever you like. Since every client got a different mind and different affinities, you probably have to bend the rules to make them match client’s personality.
A process description for the client can look like:
- Do imagine your way-points in every detail
- Pick the way-points you first think of – they are in most cases the best
- Keep a certain order of the way you walk your path (i.e. clockwise)
- Use noticeable way-points every 10 steps to create proper segments
- Don’t make your way-points too small (i.e. a pencil)
- Don’t make your way-points too big (i.e. a house)
- Don’t make them to close together
- Don’t make them to far away from each other
- Don’t use similar way-points in the same path
Step 3 – Memorize the Path
Since clients already know the location and finished defining the way-points, it will be very easy to memorize the new path. Ask the client trying to recall it in his/her imagination. If the client miss a few points, ask him/her trying to imagine him-/herself walking through the path and count each and every single way-point on it. Doing that repeatedly the client will strengthen his/her path each time. After a while you can increase the speed dramatically: With a well-trained path client won’t need longer than a split second for each way-point. This process is quick and natural.
Step 4 – Use it!
With the new path Clients are able to associate information like words with every way-point. It will help to remember the correct order and can easily be used over and over again for different purposes. This is because Clients are naturally forgetting their associations after a while, if they will not recapitulate again. This happens in a short period of time and depends on Client’s memory.
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