CPI’s Powerful Adult Teaching Methods

April 17, 2023
Man sitting at a table in a coffee shop at his laptop holding a coffee cup

During CPI Instructor Certification Programmes, we teach about adult learning theories - andragogy.

Andragogy is the name used to describe the science and practice of adult learning. This is slightly different to pedagogy, which is the understanding of the science and practice of children learning.

Different ways of learning new information

The concept of “learning styles” has long been debunked and it is important to not pigeonhole any learner to a particular learning style swim lane as a range of information delivery methods is valuable for a rich learning experience. Most adult learners appreciate an interactive teaching format offering discussion, group work, activities, experiences, and simulations. Learning increases as content is conveyed, not only through interactive lectures, but also from participating in activities.

The Verbal Intervention™ training curriculum incorporates a range of teaching and learning methods into all program components. Some aspects of the training involve lectures covering new content. CPI workbooks promote a guided note-taking technique because participants who actively take notes are more engaged in the material.

Some sections of the curriculum incorporate electronic visual aids. Some involve interactive discussion and dialogue, while others require participant involvement in experiences and simulations.

Interactive training

An interactive training format is ideal for adult learners because it draws out the knowledge, skills, and experience of participants. A proven training style used throughout the Verbal Intervention™ programme is captured in CPI’s Demonstrate–Participate–Explain model when facilitating activities. In this model, you:

  • Demonstrate the concept or skill for participants.
  • Facilitate their participation in practicing the same concept or skill.
  • Briefly connect the concept or skill to training objectives.
  • Transition to the next relevant lecture, discussion, or other activity.

This method allows participants to first see a concept in action, then experience it themselves, and finally explore it in more depth during interactive lectures and discussions.

Keep lectures concise, clear and simple. Follow this order to assure that a term is clear before you give the definition, and to ensure that the definition is clear before you give examples. It’s helpful to invoke CPI’s Term–Definition–Example model. In this model, you:

  • State and define the CPI term.
  • Allow participants time to write the definition’s key words in their workbooks.
  • Provide workplace-relevant examples of the concepts identified.
  • Ask participants for their own workplace-relevant examples of the concepts identified.

This method helps in keeping the information highly applicable to workplace realities. It reinforces the guided note-taking technique incorporated into Participant Workbooks.

The hallmarks of CPI training programmes include:

  • Extensive levels of interaction.
  • Clarity and simplicity of Certified Instructor and participant resources.
  • Immediate and realistic application of concepts and skills.

Both of these powerful CPI teaching formulas consider the variety of adult learners participating in our training. These techniques maximise retention for adult learners.

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