Fall 1986 // Volume 24 // Number 3 // Tools of the Trade // 3TOT2

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Helping Others Learn


James S. Long
Evaluation Specialist
Cooperative Extension
Washington State University-Pullman

Helping Others Learn: Programs for Adults. Patricia A. McLagan. Menlo Park, California: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1985. 101 pp. $9.95.

If you "read" this 8 1/2 x 11 workbook, you'll:

  • Recognize that McLagan also includes change in creativity in her definition of learning.
  • Identify at least six things you can do to motivate adults to learn information new to them.
  • Pick up several tips about organizing information for easier "processing."
  • Sketch a pattern of circles, squares, triangles, and diamonds to plan a sequence of activities that enables participants to think, observe, experiment, and then apply their learning.
  • Review a dozen and a half teaching techniques and action-oriented guidelines to use each one effectively.
  • Connect different teaching techniques to different learning styles and objectives.
  • Develop four strategies to help adults transfer their learning to real life.

And, you'll also:

  • Spot graphics galore!
  • Catch the author's main points in concise summaries.
  • Invest about 101 minutes - roughly a minute a page.

On the other hand, in this fifth printing, dated 1985, you:

  • Won't see references published since 1976 cited in the bibliography.
  • May not agree with McLagan's assertion that adults are "serial information processors."

But, overall, Helping Others Learn is one of the doing-est workbooks I've done in a long time!