From the desk of Dorothy McKinley Soressi
School Change Maker
Meeting the needs of students to change their future
Teaching Across Multi-Generations
Meeting the needs of several generation in the classroom is not easy, however essential. What works best? The key is to create a program that has elements and activities that tap into each generation’s objectives and preferences. What does this mean for the classroom? It indicates that Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers and Generation Y’s all have differences in how they want to learn. There are numerous factors that differentiate generations. An important question for the learning professionals is, “Do those factors influence how people learn?”
Baby Boomers favor more traditional and static training methods like Power Point presentations and workbooks. Generation X-and Y gravitate toward more interactive technology forms of learning. If the learning is technology-based, tensions can arise between experienced/older learners who may not be as comfortable with technology as younger learners. GenY’s in particular can be frustrated with a slow pace of learning.
Baby Boomers were taught in a linear fashion. They read books. Not only that, they read books from cover-to-cover. They were taught by lecture. Baby Boomers tend to be low risk takers in the learning environment. They are often afraid of taking risks in performing new skills. To make the learning process more comfortable, create ways in which learning can be practiced in a safe environment. Providing time for them to practice new skills without affecting performance grades or evaluations assists in accommodating their learning preference.
Gen Xers were taught in pods or modules. When they did research, they used the index in books to find the information they needed. They didn’t read books cover-to-cover. They learned in a structured environment that included some lecture and small group activities. Gen X-ers are devoted to developing their professional skill set and are entrepreneurial in nature. Gen-X-ers are arguably the best educated generation with 29% or higher obtaining a bachelor’s degree or higher. Providing them with action-based learning activities that are result orientated establishes a cross sharing of knowledge.
Millennials were taught in a more constructivist environment. They did research in a networked structure and most likely only used a computer. They are
digital natives and wonder why anyone considers reading a book. Their learning environment accommodated flexibility. They have unlimited information available at their fingertips and are comfortable changing focus quickly. Providing them with explicit instructions and guidance when learning with digital media works best with their learning preference.
Teachers should have additional activities planned for learners who finish an assignment quickly. Create a respectful learning environment with strong rules and protocols. Incorporating multiple formats supports learners in applying new skills. The challenge in instructional delivery is to reduce learning to its smallest, most-useful increments.
The best part of implementing the
National Estheticians Certification Program for students is the NCEA Training Manual is designed for independent-study. The school you can decide how much or how little, they want to provide as teacher instruction. The NCEA training manual leads to new challenges for the student, but can open the door for fantastic collaboration when incorporated into an existing Esthetics Curriculum.
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