W5 - Facilitating Higher Learning with the Adult Brain in Mind
The meaning and purpose of higher learning, especially with regard to adult learners, has shifted from knowledge acquisition to responding more effectively to the urgent demands of local and global citizenship. Meanwhile, the field of neuroscience has challenged Descartes’ cognitive maxim, “I think, therefore I am” and now finds that “we feel, therefore we know.” How does this new understanding of brain function relate to developing adults’ capacities to learn and know in more complex ways? The first part of this workshop synthesizes relevant trends in neuroscience, cognitive science, and philosophy of mind using stories, metaphors, and engaging illustrations. This will illuminate an ongoing challenge many educators face: why is it that, even when adults are actively seeking new and creative ideas and perspectives, they often find it difficult to change their minds? The second part of the workshop focuses on enlarging participants’ repertoire of brain-aware practices. Understanding more about how adult brains learn may affirm many practitioners’ approaches and also encourage them to be more intentional about their facilitation methods.
Kathleen Taylor, Ph.D., finally earned her bachelor’s degree twenty years after graduating from high school. In the 30-plus years since, she has worked in graduate and undergraduate (degree completion) programs focused on adult development and transformative learning. She now mentors doctoral students in leadership education and development at Saint Mary’s College of California. Kathleen writes, consults, and conducts professional development sessions internationally on topics related to adult development, adult learning, and the brain. She is an award-winning author whose latest book, Facilitating Learning with the Adult Brain in Mind will be out early in 2016.
Catherine Marienau, Ph.D., is a professor in the School for New Learning at DePaul University where she mentors and teaches adult learners in individually-designed, competency-based degree programs, and coordinates the Master of Arts in Educating Adults program. Catherine’s consulting and scholarship focus on assessing learning, adult learning and development, competency-based learning, and, program innovation. She is co-author (w K. Taylor) of a forthcoming (2016) book, Facilitating Learning with the Adult Brain in Mind: A Conceptual and Practical Guide, Jossey-Bass/Wiley. She and Dr. Taylor are co-authors (w. M. Fiddler) of Developing Adult Learners: Strategies for Teachers and Trainers (2000), Jossey-Bass.