Tuesdays with Jane: Week #5
(Tuesdays with Jane is a virtual learning series for those wishing to read or re-read Jane's books and immediately apply their new learning to their workplace. In preparation for this task, read Chapter 4 of Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach.)
Learning Needs and Resources Assessment: Taking the First Step in Dialogue
Chapter Four is an amazing true story. The heroine is Fatuma, rifle-bearing leader of the Afar nomadic people of northern Ethiopia!
Although this chapter teaches the usefulness of the practice of inclusive learning needs and resources assessment (LNRA), many other principles and practices are also evident: relationships, respect, the use of visuals, engagement, safety, teamwork, critical incidents and hopefully the laughter of the reader at Fatuma’s strategic ploy to win “an outbreak of seriousness in the training room.”
I did go back to Ethiopia a year later, and was delighted to visit Fatuma and her people at their camp. They killed a goat, not a camel, and we had a great feast!
The reference to the Appendix which has a number of particular strategies for doing an effective LNRA in any situation was useful.
Some great lines from Chapter Four:
- “Who needs what as defined by whom” (Hutchnison) is at the heart of the learning needs and resources assessment. p57
- “’Don’t just do something, sit there.’” p59
- “…the key [to adult learning] is the respectful relationship of learner to teacher.” p62
- “The needs assessment, however, was not yet complete. What about the other definers?” p64
- “The culture of the roadside is not the culture of the mountainside…” p66
A LEARNING TASK:
As you read this chapter, what other ways of doing an learning needs and resources assessment (LNRA) in that Ethiopian drought situation would you consider? That is, what else might I have done to get inclusive participation from the learners and the community?