Personal Learning Experiences

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Elementary School Setting

Growing up in Germany in the mid-80s, I specifically remember the religious studies we had in elementary school.

These studies, two weekly lessons, consisted of a female teacher reading out stories from the Bible, and us children drawing pictures to illustrate them. When reading was finished, we all got to show our pictures and talk about them.

I liked these lessons a lot. Not, mind you, for the religious aspect. No, I liked them because we learned through storytelling. It was the narrative that drew me in. I think storytelling is a learning technique that still works today, in many other settings.

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High School Setting

As a high school student I lived in a small, small town in Manitoba, Canada. It was at the local high school that I read 'The Lord of the Flies' in drama class.

I absolutely loved this class, because we got to read (both silent and aloud), act out and discuss literature.

To me, sharing your understanding of something you have learned with others still is one of the most rewarding learning experiences imaginable. It's a great way to weed out misconceptions, and to encourage communication with others.

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Professional Setting

One of the jobs I held as a teenager was staffing a kiosk at a water park in Germany.

I would sell all sorts of refreshments to anyone interested in, let's say, an ice cream cone or a soda. To sell, I had to learn how to use a cash register from another part-timer. I remember her demonstrating the register, and me struggling to retain all the necessary information. There was no manual, no tutorial, no infographic. Just two teens, trying to pass on information.

In retrospective, I would have liked some sort of written instruction to back up the live demonstration. But hey - I did learn how to operate the register eventually!