Saturday, October 18, 2008

Using Elmore's Method in Teaching

Whenever I prepare a training workshop, I keep one of novelist Elmore Leonard's rules of writing before me: "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."


The class is for the students, not the teacher. How can I reach their concerns, fears, and questions? Which examples will cause them to suspect that I've been watching them and their associates? Which guidelines will they want to underline and which ones will they talk about over lunch?


It is so easy for an instructor to fall in love with material that is of no use to the class. Any material that is designed to demonstrate the brilliance of the instructor should be rapidly deleted. The test is Tarzanian: Class need? Class want?


The class may need items they don't want. That's fine. Just make sure that those are presented in a manner that will shock them with interesting aspects of the topic. Make it interesting and they will find it relevant. Make it relevant and they will find it interesting.

2 Comments:

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Wally Bock said...

Wow (no exclamation point). Thanks for a great post/reminder for those of us who write or speak. Here's my pick for the money quote.

"Make it interesting and they will find it relevant. Make it relevant and they will find it interesting."

 
At 4:36 PM, Blogger Michael Wade said...

Thanks, Wally.

Somehow, we keep returning to the basics. They can be easy to know and tough to execute.

 

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