Coaching and Education Philosophy
Dynamic communication engages both the mentee/student and the coach/instructor in a mutual discovery process. An effectual coach creates an environment of exploration and investigation rather than simply imparting new information. Adults have extensive life experience, and they enjoy reflecting on new material and seeing how it intersects with their existing experience and knowledge. A coach/ instructor facilitates inquiry and research and helps mentees/students apply innovative ideas and concepts that will enhance their lives.
I employ a facilitation style of communication in order to establish an open, comfortable, trust-based learning environment. This helps individuals feel safe and respected. When a trust culture exists, participants are more willing to share, take risks, and explore new theories because they feel accepted and a part of a collaborative learning group.
It is important to recognize that many different learning styles are represented in a community. Utilizing a variety of learning methods increases the potential to engage everyone. When teaching a class, we may have open discussions as a whole group, in dyads, or small groups. I often utilize a free-write or a structured writing exercise prior to group work or on-on-one discussions to give those who like quiet time for reflection an opportunity to process. Collaborative projects, small and large group activities, brainstorming, and skill-practices give individuals an opportunity to learn together. Projects that encourage participants to research and share findings with a small or large group help them develop problem solving, team building, organizational and presentation skills. Understanding that we learn and process information differently enables us to explore concepts from different angles and perspectives in order to recognize blocks and develop effective solutions.
Collaborative learning is a style that draws individuals together and encourages adults to share experiences and develop new solutions based on the ideas from the whole group. Collaborative exercises make up a large segment of my activities in a classroom setting, because I have found that relationship-building and an open exchange of ideas enhances the depth and breadth of learning.
Extensive learning style theory research has enriched my curriculum development and coaching process. In order for all individuals to engage fully in the learning process, the exercises I utilize have visual, auditory and kinesthetic components. The activities enable both extroverts and introverts to be able to participate comfortably. Working with individuals both online and in-person provides a balanced forum to engage all learners.
My goal is to form an environment where individuals are exposed to new ideas, research and perspectives so they can find effective ways to problem solve, apply learning, support others, and expand their view of the world.
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