Participation, motivation & inclusion methods

Here some very interesting material by Aranya. Enjoy!

Training or learning? Modern principles of effective training and development

Focus on learning, not training

As a teacher, you may talk about learning, not training, thus focusing on the person (from the inside out, not the outside in), and offer relevant learning in as many ways as you can.

‘Training’ suggests putting stuff into people, when actually we should be developing people from the inside out so that they achieve their own individual potential, which is linked to what they love and enjoy, what they are most capable of, and strong at doing, rather than what we try to make them be. ‘Learning’ far better expresses this than ‘training’.

People respond to appropriate learning because they want to; because it benefits and interests them; because it helps them to grow and to develop their natural abilities; to make a difference; to be special.

The word ‘learning’ is significant: it suggests that people are driving their own development for themselves, through relevant experience, beyond work related skills and knowledge and processes. ‘Learning’ extends the idea of personal development (and thereby organisational development) to beliefs, values, wisdom, compassion, emotional maturity, ethics, integrity – and most important of all, to helping others to identify, aspire to and to achieve and fulfill their own unique individual personal potential.

Develop the person, not just the skills and knowledge

Skills and knowledge are the easy things. Most people will take care of these for themselves. Helping and enabling and encouraging people to become happier more fulfilled people is what employers and organisations should focus on. Achieve this and the skills and knowledge will largely take care of themselves.

Give people choice

Give people choice in what, and how and when to learn and develop. There is a world of choice out there, and so many ways to access it all. People have different learning styles, rates of learning, and areas of interest.


Encourage even participation. If everyone participates, everyone is encouraged. (Graham Bell)

Techniques to encourage participation

  • Acknowledge collective wisdom of group
  • Use humour
  • Give people choices
  • Give people “permissions” – you can skip classes, you can go to the toilet, you can fall asleep – deal with “leftovers” from the classroom.
  • Productive meeting techniques
  • Task setting
  • Playing games
  • Snowball
  • Think and listens
  • Go rounds
  • Support groups
  • No one speaks twice
  • Group design work
  • Asking for volunteers
  • Use participants as resources

What hinders learning? Attitudes to learning and the need to release demons


Excluded/ underrepresented groups of learners:

  • Over 50’s- 60’s
  • Teenagers
  • People with special needs (disabilities, dyslexia, etc.)
  • Ethnic minorities
  • People with English as a 2nd language
  • Socio – economic classes
  • Parents

We need to think of ways to encourage these groups on to courses and how to integrate them while on the course. It is good to approach groups directly and offer to go to them.

Examples of how to encourage groups on to courses:

– Parents: offer childcare

– Over 50’s: ads with University of the Third Age

– Teenagers: trap one and use as bait

While on the course: value/embrace children, using older people as a resource


A less able student who is highly motivated can achieve greater success than the more intelligent student who is not well motivated.

Participants may come motivated and we need to maintain their motivation or may come unmotivated and we need to increase motivation.

Factors which increase motivation

  • Interest: more interest, more motivation, we remember more if we want to learn it.
  • Need: if it is relevant and useful to us.
  • Attitude: may need to relearn how to learn, attitudes may be linked to social class, gender, race, as well as previous learning experience; may need to release demons
  • Aspirations: Intrinsic motivation (learning without apparent reward) or extrinisic motivation (linked to gaining qualifications)

What is remembered?

We all have filters which affect what we are most aware of and what we can concentrate on.

Filters are: what you already know, how you learn, current interests and old dreams. These can be kindled by another persons enthusiasm, how you feel emotionally and physically.

If we find pleasure and/or we need to use it we will remember more – as teachers we need to make it relevant and enjoyable.

All of these can be demotivating

  • Pace too fast/slow
  • Dull and boring teacher
  • Setting up to fail (being told at beginning that something is too hard or too easy)
  • Waiting for help
  • Baggage from the outside
  • Articulation
  • Not meeting needs on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

How can we increase motivation?

  • Change of scenery, pace, method
  • Reinforce past successes
  • Appreciation
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Appropriate feedback and praise
  • Anticipation
  • Course culture – giving permissions, group creates learning environment
  • Giving people choices, freedom and responsibility
  • Smiling
  • Buddy system – each person has a buddy – someone to turn to if “baggage” arises.
  • Sharing and caring