By Patricia Montague, CAE, SNA Chief Executive Officer 2016-06-09 21:28:36
Learning on the Brain—and in Our Association A RECENT ARTICLE REPORTED THAT THE ASSOCIATION STAFF POSITIONS THAT ARE IN THE GREATEST DEMAND are in education departments. Most associations today are focusing on the professional development of their members, because research indicates this is the primary reason members join. As most of you know, Professional Development is one of SNA’s core competencies and goals in our Strategic Plan, and this month’s magazine main feature focus on adult education is very timely. The demand for enhanced education increased during the last recession, as individuals sought to learn new skills and become more marketable. In addition, associations are seeking to respond to new research about how people learn. Students of all ages must actively participate, think, connect, reflect and make sense of new information in order to learn. I recently attended an association conference session that honed in on six brain principles essential in making the most of any training experience. This information is critical for both the teacher and the student. 1) We remember more when we write or type than when we only read. In fact, writing is more helpful to memory retention than typing. 2) Connections—to content and others learning alongside you—are key to adult learning. 3) Show and tell are equally valuable. Use images in presentations. 4) As students, we need to “do it ourselves.” Practice does make perfect. Adult learners need to review or practice the application of new information at least six times and six ways. 5) The quantity of information is much less important than the quality of the information shared. 6) Follow up. After participating in any training, make the time and effort to develop an action plan that commits you to applying what you learned. SNA’s prioritization of professional development for members can be credited to the vision of such leaders as SNA President Jean Ronnei. Jean has been a committed proponent of the value of the Professional Standards rule and the enhancements SNA has made to its educational programming. It’s hard to believe that another successful year is drawing to a close, as I have enjoyed working closely with Jean through times both challenging and exciting—and often both at the same time. I know she looks forward to spending more time with family—especially her adorable grandsons. Thanks, Jean, for your leadership! Enjoy your retirement!
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