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Many Adult Students Need Learn but One Lesson

Posted by Stephen Lemire on September 23, 2011 at 1:45 PM

During the past twenty-five years, it has been my privilege to teach dozens of incredibly talented and motivated adult learners. I have been a Senior Faculty member at Cambridge (MA) College, an adjunct faculty at the University of Massachusetts Lowell & Boston, and a faculty member at Rivier College in Nashua, NH.
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Other than during my brief tenure at Rivier, I have worked with graduate students. Most of the courses that I have taught have been in Health Care Administration or Management. A typical student has been a medical clinician (RN, technologist) with 20 years experience who was looking to earn a Master’s Degree in order to gain career advancement into a management position.
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As a course instructor, my teaching philosophy is to create an environment where students are encouraged to share their professional experiences. If I am successful, the greatest lesson that students learn is that they each carry a wealth of information with which they can teach one another. This exchange creates a vast resource of experiences, case examples, practice styles, and lessons learned.
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I feel that I am most effective presenting information as a facilitator, rather than as a lecturer, to allow students the opportunity to process the potential impacts of what is being discussed and apply it to their workplace or to a more broad setting. I challenge students to develop their own concepts, support their own ideas, and always learn from each other.
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As students assimilate material and question me, each other, and themselves, they develop a stronger grasp and understanding that most situations they encounter are dynamic, not static. I try to instill a level of confidence in students so that they feel empowered to challenge themselves and others.
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When lessons are suitably applied, students begin to determine where change is needed in their workplace and attempt to be a catalyst for that change. I know a transformation has begun when students think less about process (like a clinician) and more about outcome (like a manager).
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Categories: Education, Management, Real Life Wisdom

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