Speaker 1: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Jennifer West: So as just announced, I am Jennifer, your academic coach North State. So thank you guys for joining me today. Quick background about me is I've been a teacher for almost 25 years. 20 of those years, I've been in alternative education, and about 10 years in adult education, specifically correctional education.

So with that said, one of my goals today is to ask everybody to take a breath, and maybe step outside your comfort zone just a little bit. Whatever that looks like, just step outside that comfort zone and learn something new. Try out some new ideas. I know that for me as an educator, that my students always benefit when I'm learning, or the people I work with always benefit when I'm learning new things. So that's one of my goals today.

So today, our objectives for this presentation are to really dive into andragogy, andragogy, the art and the science of helping adults learn. And dive deeper into it, talk about its purpose, really go over the core principles, and connect those to some classroom ideas. And at the very end, we'll talk about how we use andragogy to build the culture within our adult education classrooms.

So with that said, I'm going to just make the guess that most of us are familiar with the idea that pedagogy and andragogy, and that pedagogy really focuses on teaching children and andragogy focuses on the adult. I just want to take it much deeper than that, because that's just surface, and it goes so much deeper. So we know that when we teach adults, as the picture shows on the screen, that it's different than teaching children.

So teaching children oftentimes, the teachers the center, they share all that information. And primarily because our learners have a little life experience or a little information to build from. Often their students or children are learning too, because that's just the next step. They're learning because that's expected. And they are certainly learning in a pre-determined sequence.

That's K-8. Students learn, and then they go to the next grade. And they learn, and they go forward. Andragogy is different. The students, the adult students that come in, they have vast life experience to build from. They have had lives, and they have interests, and they have had experiences. So the teacher's role shifts, and it becomes more to connect and clarify and add information.

It's a fine line, and it's kind of a delicate dance, because our students do andragogy, when we're working with adults, our students do come with gaps, but how to fill those gaps is a little bit different. I'd like to think of andragogy-- this was my aha moment with it, is that right around fourth grade students stop learning to read, and they start reading to learn. And that's a little bit what it's like as a teacher for me.

When I started teaching adults, there was a shift in from sharing information to making connections and facilitating and clarifying information. And I realized that I had to transition from being responsible for what my students were learning to being responsible for my learners. That was my aha moment, being responsible for them as a whole, being responsible for their life experiences in making those connections, and bringing it full circle.

So that's andragogy in a nutshell. And so I really want to be able to focus and help you understand what the core concepts are. So these are the six core concepts of andragogy. So our adult students need to know, they need some motivation, orientation to learning, self concept, life experiences, and readiness to learn.

So these are the six core principles. And I'm certainly going to break them all down and make some connections to our classrooms and what those look like for our students. These core principles really help us in planning and facilitating our lessons, to help keep our students engaged, motivated, and self-directed. Those three words-- engaged, motivated, and self-directed-- like, that's my dream classroom all the time.

And when we have that in our classroom, it becomes this lifelong learning experience, where it's not about us managing students. It's not about a spoon feeding. It's not about us holding our hands. It's about us being leaders in the classroom as educators, and our students learning. It's kind of a cool thing.

So we're going to just start out. I'm going to start with the first core principle of need to know. So adults are relevancy-oriented. Adults like to be able to see how learning connects to their work and to their life. And as teachers, when we become familiar with our programs, whatever they are, whether it's a vocational program, like woodworking, or an academic program, adult basic education, when we become familiar with that, we can facilitate the appropriate connections for them.

Like in woodworking, if that's the case, then literacy's important, and making that connection about why it's important, and how it makes that connection for their vocation and for their life. Teachers also want to demonstrate how the theory and the content of the class relates to the participants' life. How does it relate to the students? So really answering that why.

Malcolm Knowles, who I'll reference throughout this entire presentation, he states, "Adults are much more likely to participate, invest substantial effort, and retain learning when they understand clearly with the positive results of instruction are, as well as the possible negative implications of not working through the instruction will be."

That goes deeper than just saying, you do this, or you get an RVR, a rules violation report, or you get in trouble. It goes much deeper than that. The negative implications, if the deterrent to learn or go to jail, if that was the case, our students wouldn't be where they're at, right? So the negative implication needs to be more personal. It needs to be more impactful for their lives.

So in our classrooms, some ideas for that is that when we're planning lessons, if we are very clear about why we're doing this lesson and what the connections are, so the students know, if we're learning-- sorry, if we are learning decimals, how does that relate to my life? Oh, I could better budget my money for canteen, or I could see and make sure that money on my books is correct.

So how does the skill that impacts their life? Some great things that we have going for us in adult education is that test taking skills, it's real life for everyone of our students. Whether they're getting their driver's license, or their GED test, or applying for a job at Home Depot, test taking skills is huge. Just like completing a job application or money management. Those are all clearly defined areas in students' lives that we can build on and make connections academically.

Also, when we introduce a lesson, or an activity, or a skill, really letting our students know what the purpose is clearly, more so than, you're going to need this in your life, why? Letting them know the why and answering that.

So here's a couple examples about how we could do that in the classroom. So the core principle of need to know, here's a math activity about counting chicken wings. Food is always a good attention getter, or had been with my students in the past, and I taught adult basic education two, three, and GED at a level three institution here in CDCR.

Here, this is asking our students to engage in some critical thinking. If you have a bucket of wings, how many wings are really in there? Like, how many? Do you know? How many wings do you get to eat? Is there enough to share with other people? What's the least amount of wings that could be in that bucket, and how do you know that to be true?

So engaging our students for that, why would they need to know that? Well, hopefully, they would need to know that so they knew how many buckets of wings to buy, or they would need to know that so they knew if they were going to be hungry afterwards, if they need to order any sides. Making that connection.

One more food connection here. This is a classic hamburger problem. Probably many of you seen something similar to this in the past. What's the better deal, a quarter pounder for $3, or a third pounder for $4? Asking our students to, why would you need to know that, and what is it?

So, often our students will-- the need to know is because they're going to save money, and that's real life too. I don't know who that's not real life to. So that's real-life saving money and budgeting, and that hits home. And the side benefit for us as educators, as teachers, we're doing some math, we're doing some critical thinking, we're doing some guestimations. All kinds of great side benefits happening here.

And one more math problem here. This actually comes from the Empower Math Textbook, Everyday Number Sense. Here, the problem is somebody's washing windows four three-story buildings. Each one has the same front window arrangement. How many windows will this person wash? The need to know connection is, we can ask students, should this person charge by the window? Should they charge by the floor? How many cleaning supplies should they take? How many windows is she going to wash in all?

This is a little bit more realistic for our students, as opposed to asking them to do some multiplications by-- do you know your 12s, do you know your 4s, do you know how to do an array? We're testing that skill. We're assessing that skill without giving them some kill and drill math worksheets. Hopefully, that makes a little bit of sense.

All right. We're going to move right into the next core principle, which is self-concept. This is so, so key with our clients in adult education, especially in prison. This is where our students need to be respected. I know that's all a word you all have heard before, respect, right, in your classrooms?

But our adults really need that. You need that, I need that, and our clients need that as well. Adults need to be given a voice during learning experiences. We've all felt that before. As teachers, if we can establish a learning atmosphere within the program where adults are treated as equals, where they're treated as adults, as humans, that are just there to learn, and we can encourage them to share opinions and experiences and knowledge, and we're just looking at them for their academics and what they have to offer as a person, that's huge. That, it gives them self-worth, that self-concept. And it also makes sure that the students know that they're responsible for their own decisions. They're directing themselves to learn.

So Malcolm Knowles again. He tells us very clearly that "the conflict between independent adult self-concept and pedagogical expectations of dependency make it easy to see why many adult education programs have high dropout rates." So true. I'm going to just guess that lots of you heard this. If you've heard this, definitely send me a little note let me know. Our students don't want to be treated like children, and they tell us that. They say, I'm a grown adult. I don't want to be treated like a child.

And when we do that, it stops the learning. It stops the buy-in. And it's such a barrier. So if we can work on treating our students and embracing the idea that they're responsible for their own decisions and build from there, learning can continue to happen. So here's some ideas for using in the classroom, self-concept.

We all have those students that need their hand held, that need baby steps along the way, that have never had success in education, so they're very afraid to try anything on their own. We have those students. It's part of our job as an adult educator to design moments where they can start to become more independent in their learning style, to build confidence, to build them up so they're willing to learn and take chances on their own.

So another way to do that is to plan lessons where teachers are the facilitator rather than the authority. Include class discussions, group work, presentations, opportunities for peer tutoring, build in that SSI, that structured student interaction. Opportune time there. Encourage students to reflect on their strengths and their challenges and their progress towards their own learning goals, their goals. Not my goals, but their goals.

Here's a way that I have used in my classroom multiple times. It's where I ask my students to say, what is your goal? What is your goal from this class? And what are you willing to try to achieve that goal? And I can't tell you that it's always pretty. I often had students say, my goal is to get out of this class. My goal is to get out of education.

Cool. I'm happy to write that down. I'm happy to embrace that, because it's their goal. My goal is, of course, for them to get a GED, and to move on, and to become a learner, and to become more literate, and to make better decisions, and to have more thoughts. However, that's my goal. If their goal is to get out of education, it's my job to embrace that and help them achieve that.

Asking them what they're willing to do to get there? Huge. In this case, oftentimes when I was at High Desert, their choices were to get their GED. They'd get out of the program. Another choice would be to raise their test scores, so they could get out of my class and get into a different class. Another choice would be to RDR out of the program. Those were really their choices to get out of mandated education.

If their choice is to get out of program as fast as they can, whatever they're willing to try to do, if we can create some action steps and record that completion, that shows them the progress that they are making and holds them accountable for those action steps. That completion part, here's the action, and here's the completion, it shows that increments of doing that.

And, of course, at the very end when they've achieved that, giving them an achievement date. This tool, I want to caution and say that it's awesome. I don't ever want to make these goals too big for our students. I certainly want to make them small. If their goal is to get out of class, I might try to help them redefine that down a little bit to, raising my CASA score so I can promote 283, or getting my CASA score high enough to qualify to take the GED test. Something a little bit more specific.

And then what they're willing to try. Make those action steps very concrete, that you can check it off. An action step that says, I will complete 10 pages in the Kaplan GED book daily, or I will show up to class and be ready to learn. Those are specific. Well, completing the pages in the Kaplan book, very specific. Showing up to class? That's not an actionable step.

Showing up to class is actionable. Showing up to class and being ready to learn is not actionable, that's a judgment. So that's a harder thing to put on there. So I want to caution and say those action steps are very specific and achievable. And that moves right into setting a SMART goal. So another way to look at that is to just simply set a SMART goal.

A SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timed. Whatever goal they choose, the steps that they take to reach that are incremental. With a SMART goal, it is important that it is specific, it is obtainable, it is measurable, it is realistic and there is a time.

So one of the things that several of my students over the years have told me that their goal, their SMART goal, is to stay out of prison. And I tell them that's a great life-- that's wonderful that you want that in your life. However, that can't be a SMART goal, because for you to achieve that goal, you have to die. That's it. Or come back to prison. That's really the only way to obtain that goal.

So maybe we can look at that and say, what do you have to do to stay out of prison? What do you have to do to not be in prison? Get your points down, complete parole, stay clean and sober. And then take those chunks, and make the SMART goal.

So an academic education, if they want to get out of class, their SMART goal could be to raise their CASA scores so they could qualify for the GED test or the pre-GED test. To do that, we could come up with very specific steps that they would do to achieve that.

All righty. I'm going to keep moving forward.

Speaker 2: Jennifer?

Jennifer West: Yes ma'am.

Speaker 2: We have some questions in the Q&A and some comments. So are you ready for me to ask?

Jennifer West: I am. Absolutely.

Speaker 2: All right. So Jacqueline Cisneros asked, what if they're getting out of the program as fast as possible includes looking up all answers on Google and submitting them?

Jennifer West: So I'm not sure I understand Jacqueline's question. If that's their goal, is to get out of program as fast as they can, and that's what they think that that's going to happen for them, that is not meeting their goal. If their goal is to get out of class and they're cheating to do it, then they're succeeding, if that's the goal that they set for themselves. Does that make sense?

Speaker 2: Absolutely.

Jennifer West: You can certainly chime back in, because I'm not sure I'm answering or understanding what the question is. But I will say that like, I had a student that told me he is going to get out of class, and his goal was to lie, cheat, and steal to do it. And that young man, by golly, he would come in, and he'd turn work into me, and I would say, hey, did you cheat on this? And he'd get all indignant and tell me, no, and I'd be like, oh, shoot. You're not meeting your end. You're like, you told me you were going to lie, cheat, and steal, and now you're not doing it. I'm concerned.

And I used humor, and that's my personality to kind of shame him into changing that goal a little bit. So we ended up having a good working relationship based on that.

Speaker 2: Thank you. Laurie and several others have asked if they will have access to the slides. And yes, we will be posting the slides at the end of this, and I will show you where they will be located. And Jacqueline's comment also includes, our students aren't motivated. They don't want to be treated like children, but when we don't guide them they don't stick with or complete anything.

I think that this concept is interesting, self-concept, but isn't for everyone. Maybe E versus CTE, ESL for me, especially, she's saying.

Jennifer West: OK--

Speaker 2: The capacity for this needs to be built, yes.

Jennifer West: Jacqueline, I'm going to get to-- the very last thing of this presentation is about motivation, because I truly think that that sums up everything that we're talking about here today. So I'm going to ask you to check back in with me after, right almost at the end of it, when we talk about motivation. Because I hear you loud and clear. Motivating our students that have been beat down and not been successful and have little desire, except some custody officer telling them that they have to go to a program, or some court telling them they have to do something, that does not motivate them. We know this. So we're going to talk about some ways that we can work on some internal motivation for our clients.

Speaker 2: Thanks. And the last question is, when you talked about the first step, where would you find the resources like this? Do you take drill problems and create word problems for them? So when we talked about the word problems for that hamburger, for example, or the wings. I think Jacqueline was referring to that.

Jennifer West: So Jacqueline, there's all kinds of resources. I'm not sure if you're with CDCR or not with CDCR. If you are with CDCR, on our SharePoint you can contact me, and I'll send you all those links. There's tons of resources there for real-life problems. And if you're not with CDCR, you can certainly shoot me an email, and I'll send you lots and lots of websites that work with those.

Like, there's hundreds of them. And because you're asking me right now, I just can't think of one off the top of my head.

Speaker 2: I think I am supposed to communicate with you.

Jennifer West: OK, cool, thank you. And really there are. Oh, gosh. my brain, I'm sorry.

Speaker 2: The chat has some comments. I encourage everybody to add their comments to the chat. And then I will pause on Q&A and we'll come back to it. We do have one in the queue, but I do want you to continue your presentation, and we'll circle back.

Jennifer West: OK. Thank you. So back here with the core principle of self-concept, one of the ways we can also engage with that is to use that classic KWL chart. If you taught ever in traditional education, K-8, maybe even K-12, you probably used a KWL chart. It's not too juvenile to use with our adults. It's certainly not juvenile. It is something that our adults can really key into. How you present it and how you facilitate it, you could do this in small groups, you could do this as a whole class. You could do this one-on-one.

The one here up on your screen is from Spark 3,000, a program that CDCR uses at all of our institutions. And it simply says, what do I know, what do I want to know, and what have I learned? If you have your students start with that, maybe have some AB1 or ELL, and the language is just not there, you can certainly present a topic or even just show a picture, a graphic picture of something, and you could talk about, what do you know from this picture?

And it's so powerful. Back before COVID, when I was in classrooms, I was working with an ELL student, and they were like, I don't even know where to read with this book, and they were frustrated. And I was like, hey, time out. Why don't you show me where you think the title is. Why don't you show me. They were very fluent. They just weren't literate in English. And that student knew that anything in the bigger letters, that was the title the book. They knew to read right to left.

They just didn't know how to-- they felt like they didn't know anything. So me listing everything that they did know shifted how they're viewing themselves and their idea of their self-concept, and they're willing to go forward. So KWL chart, it's for adults too.

All right. Our next core principle, life experience. As we have our adults come into our classrooms, and even some of our older juveniles, they come to us with-- they've accumulated this vast experience and knowledge, whether it's from school, work, family life, gang life, criminal activity. It's all there. And it can be this resource for their own learning, as well as them helping to teach others.

So as teachers, if we can help adults or just help our students to connect their experience to theories and concepts that we're teaching in our classes, and encourage the collaboration and idea sharing, it becomes powerful, and it gives our students value, and then they feel respected, and then learning happens.

Here we go Knowles again. Knowles tells us that "The implications of ignoring this principle have considerable impact on adult learners' motivation. If an adult learner feels that personal experiences are ignored or devalued, this is not just a rejection of that experience, but a rejection of the adult as a person.

So if somebody wants to learn something, but they don't value who I am as a human, I as an almost 50-year-old educator probably can't learn from them. That takes a lot of effort on my part. So if I'm rejected as a person, then I don't have a lot of time to learn from somebody else. Huge. This is huge, where we can value, add value to our students and their experience.

There's so much shame wrapped up with our adult students, whether it's corrections or not corrections. There's just a lot of shame there for not being successful and not learning. So realistically, I don't know any grown adult that says, hey, I'm 55 years old, and I read it a second grade level. I'm ready to come to school to learn. Not many people say that with pride. So if we don't value them and encourage our students to feel value in their life experience, then we're rejecting them. And when somebody is rejected, they're not open to learning.

So here are some ways we can combat that in our classroom. We can build opportunities for our students to share. We can ask students to come up to the smart board and work out a problem, or we can ask a student to tell us what they think about it, and listen, and give it value.

We can validate their life experience. We can connect new ideas and new information to their previous knowledge. It is huge that that can happen, where students, maybe they were drug dealers in the past. Chances are that there might be good with some numbers, or maybe they were gamblers, and they're really good with probability. Using that skill and connecting it to something academic, powerful.

We can also provide experience for students to evaluate, reflect, and review their own experiences and connect it to what's being taught. I gotta click on the right button. Sorry, guys.

There's some ways that we can do this. This is a picture from the Edge Level B textbook that's a Nat Geo language arts book for AD2. This picture right here, it's very striking. There's is an essential question that we can ask our students. The question, as you can see, says, "What influences a person's choices?"

Every one of our clients and students can answer that question. Every one of our students can add to this. And we can listen, and we can add value, and then we can connect it to the new concept that we're teaching, or we can connect it to the next reading passage-- goodness, that's hard to say-- passage, and teach what the main idea is, or we can connect it and talk about thematics.

Here is a place where a KWL chart works really well. We know what our class thinks about a person's choices and what influences them. This is a great time to bring in some map and ask students to maybe get sticky notes and be a little bit more interactive and write down things and share things. There's so many opportunities here, where we can embrace life experience based on a simple image.

Another way that we can extend this activity is to do a circle check or a check in circle. This is not like the same circle time that we all did when we taught kindergarten, or when we taught elementary school. Not the same. But the same at the same time. Crazy. So the idea of the circle check is that we create a question. The Edge books do that automatically for us with the essential questions. We invite our students to share some personal knowledge, experience, and opinions. We talk about with those key issues are.

This, for me, when I was in the classroom, was the ideal time for students to have that structured student interaction, where they could say, my idea is similar to Jennifer's, but-- they would talk to each other. They would get that oral language going. They would speak to each other using academic language that was appropriate for the classroom.

And then, compare those responses. Talk about what's similar, what's different, embrace that. We then would ask our students and our classes to look for patterns, find some big ideas, make some generalizations, draw some conclusions from there. And then, the very last step for the E would be to extend the thinking and the learning, connect it to the next activity that's coming up. Maybe even connect it out throughout the whole day, bring it into some math, bring it into some language arts, maybe some social studies.

Like, COVID is a great way to make this happen right now. And I know that not having face-to-face interaction seems difficult, but you could certainly do this. It might be a month long project, where you send out the EQ, you ask your students to share their information back in writing. You would review those key issues and summarize them and share them back out, and then ask your students to maybe do a graphic organizer or a chart, where you're comparing similarities and differences. Ask them to look for some patterns. Maybe draw some conclusions or write a summary. And then, at that point, you might give some articles out about COVID or some math problems out about COVID to bring it full circle around.

So doable, even with self-led, or doable on independent study. Any questions so far, guys? Anything coming up on our questions?

Speaker 2: Yes. First of all, thank you for that circles reminder. That was fantastic. So we have a question in the queue. Theodore is asking, in regards to andragogy, would it be accurate to say that learning teaching should align more with IEP practices.

Jennifer West: So perhaps. I think that you're talking about the individual education, like in a special ed program, where you really focus in on what a student needs and what they want. Absolutely, adult education is based that way. However, I can't imagine, when you have 50 plus students, doing an individual learning plan that's that detailed that you would have a special ed, for each one of them.

It's certainly OK with the andragogy to embrace their life experiences and have an assignment where everybody is contributing, or using their foundational skills for life experience. But you're still working on the same standard of main idea. So, hopefully, that makes a little bit of sense to you.

Speaker 2: Thank you. And there are comments in the chat. I encourage everybody to contribute there and, of course, ask questions in the Q&A. And also, if you want, everybody in the chat to see your comments, make sure you're changing that to to all panelists and attendees.

Jennifer West: All right. Awesome. Thank you. OK. So our next core principle is readiness to learn. So we know that adults are practical. I'm practical. I don't want to waste my time. I want to solve some problems to get better at my work. I like hands-on activities that are real to my world. So our job as teachers is to design some concrete learning activities and assist our students in seeing how they connect and how that information is useful to their real life.

Breaking that down, when a student is incarcerated or a student is in adult education, why do they need to learn things? If it's not immediately affecting them, the value to learn is not there. So helping our students to see that they need to learn because their circumstances are changing, that's the power. That's the powerhouse behind there.

Again, Knowles, "At any given point in life, adults are ready to learn those things they need to know and be able to do in order to cope effectively with their real-life situations." That really hits home for me. Recently, during COVID, those of you that know me, you know I know nothing about cars, and I really don't care. Like, it's not my thing. I have roadside assistance. I can dial them up. They fix my car. And I can cope effectively with my real-life situation that way.

However, I was driving. I guess I was breaking the rules not staying at home, but I was driving and I didn't help cell reception, and my car just stopped, and I was not able to cope effectively, crazy enough. So I learned some lessons there. I learned that maybe I should pay attention to the lights that come out on my car and do what they tell me to /

But I guess the moral of that story is that because it was real life, now I'm a little bit more interested in my car, and I'm a little bit more interested in how things work. So that gave it value. I promise you, there's never been value in learning how my car works until that moment.

So, some ideas in your classroom, I want to talk about clicking in on current events and money issues. Those are always important to our students. So that's always a source of motivation for adult students. So leveraging that to encourage interest is huge. Getting that buy-in, that's very important. And then, giving some examples of how academic skills can benefit their current situation, another big deal.

For many CDCR people, being successful in academic education often means lower points, or maybe they get a good EPR, and their counselor puts them-- they can get a meeting with the board. That's a big deal. On the streets, I would think that better pay would be a reason for students to learn more things.

So if anybody-- if you'll type in something if you know another reason why academic skills could benefit students, let me know, because my brain needs help right now. So type them in if you know another reason or another example of how academic skills can benefit students in their current situation. And then, we'll share them out in just a minute.

Here are some things for readiness to learn. Letting our students use real-life problems, where learners can relate that skill to something they need in their everyday life. So me asking a student how many gallons of wax is needed to finish the floor in the hallway, that might be just a prison thing. I don't know, but that's going to get my students to think critically. It's going to get them to use the four operations. They're going to have to think about conversions. They're going to have to think about some ratios.

And hopefully, we're going to have a conversation and build from there. That's a real-life problem. That's a real life something that they would use in education.

Another question that we could ask is, back to those chicken wings, because I think I was hungry when I was typing this up. How many chicken wings are in a large bucket, and how many will each person eat? How many buckets do I need to have for a party? That's kind of a real-life thing too. Again, engaging in critical thinking. We're talking about some volume, which is a higher level math skill, some estimation, sing that logical thinking to see, is this right, is that wrong? So there's a couple ideas about how to engage in the readiness to learn.

Here's another example that's, again, back to math, is buying a car. Putting down a downpayment on something. This might not be relevant to our students that are doing life in prison or don't have a date to get out. But if you're working with adults that do have a release date and are thinking about a car, this is something for them to think about and get into.

Here, you determine from here, are they doing addition, multiplication? You decide when they're doing 20% of. Two ways to get there, and then there's some subtraction involved with that to. A great activity using math, but it's not kill and drill doing 50 problems on multiplication or 50 problems on percentages.

And this will be in the notes in the PowerPoint. I want to encourage everybody to check out Dan Meyer, just search him on the web. He has all kinds of math problems that will support these kinds of ideas too. So for the person that asked me earlier, Dan Meyer, that's a great resource to search and find some real world math problems.

Here is another activity, and this is 100% borrowed from-- I went to a presentation called Using Mistakes for Learning's Sake, Promoting Mathematical Success For All. This is an activity, a task, that they presented there. Huge. I can't wait to use it in the classroom.

Coffee cup task. So cup A, cup B, M stands for milk, C stands for coffee. So which cup has more milk in it, which cup has more coffee in it? If milk is $0.50 and coffee is $0.25, which one's more expensive to make? How much milk do I need to have on hand if I drink my coffee cup B way? So lots of activities there. Students, it may or may not resonate home with them immediately, but it will make them think.

I'm going to keep moving forward here. Oh, wait. I'm going to go back one. Did anybody key in with some ideas for me?

Speaker 2: We have several.

Jennifer West: OK. It might be like, I don't know, eight, for readiness to learn.

Speaker 2: Yes. So we have, they may want to help their children with their schoolwork, consumer economics, interest rates, unit costs, so that they don't get ripped off. Academic skills will help them support their children in school. So, yes, literacy, knowing their legal rights.

Jennifer West: I like the helping your students with homework. Gosh our clients and students that are dads or grandpas, being one step ahead of their kids, or knowing how to help them with their common core math, which that's fun. I always loved it when students would bring in their kids' homework problem and ask me to help them so they could reteach it to their kid on their next phone call.

So that's cool, whoever typed that in.

Speaker 2: Yeah, we have saving time completing a job duty that saves company money, which will make the boss happy too.

Jennifer West: Yeah. Keep the boss happy. So, yeah, become more efficient. I like it. All right. Well, thank you guys so much for participating and giving me some ideas. I look forward to hijacking those and adding them in the next time I do this presentation. So thanks.

All right I'm going to move right on at. Our next core principle is orientation to learning. Here, adults like you and me and our students, every adult, we appreciate learning when it's tied to my own personal goal, maybe a professional goal. But if I know that learning is tied to me somehow, I appreciate that.

Most adults appreciate a well-organized and learning experience that's going to help them get to that goal. So as teachers, if we can identify the learning objectives, follow a clear agenda, show the students have activities are helping them achieve their goals, we're going to get a lot more buy-in. And that goes back to, adults are very comfortable with that routine of being, everyday this is what we do, or this is what it looks like. There's comfort and safety feeling in that. So if we can identify what the objective is and follow the clear agenda and they know what to expect next, it takes some of that fear out, and it gives them the skill to help them deal with the situation that they're in right now.

So on that same idea, if we asked a student that came into our class that's a low reader, high-functioning low reader, if we said, well, you don't read so good, your tape test said that you have a 1.0, so you're going to have to learn some phonics and the alphabet right now before we do anything else, that student may or may not sit down and do that. But if we asked a student to say, hey, you know what, I really want to help you learn to read better because I bet you get some letters from home, or I want you to be able to read the Title 15 better, or I want you to understand what the job description says. That's more relevant to their life than just opening a phonics book and looking at that, or logging into a computer program to learn phonics.

So making those connections. Yeah, our students have a lot of foundational blocks. But sometimes, those foundational blocks are not fully developed. Maybe there's some gaps in there that we just have to go back in and fill in that. Asking them to start from the beginning is frustrating for them. So it doesn't help them deal with the situation at hand.

So Knowles here, he tells us, "Adults are motivated to expend energy when they see the learning as real-life oriented. Adults will learn new skills more effectively when they're presented in the context of authentic situations." Adults struggle with the textbooks that we give them, because-- especially in math. Adults no they're never ever, ever, ever going to get a problem in real life that says, it's 9 times 3.

They may have to figure out the area of something to buy paint. But no in their real life, what are the chances of them getting a multiplication problem? Pretty slim. So it doesn't fit into their life. They don't see the value in it. So us making those connections to a vocation, or to a job, or to helping their children with their homework, that makes it more real life, and it gives it more credibility.

So here's some classroom ideas. We can certainly present problems and maybe give the solution and work backwards to how we got there. We can emphasize how the subject matter is going to solve problems that are regularly encountered. So if like, the Title 15, for example, if a student is regularly violating something in there, we can read the Title 15, and they can really understand why they're getting that rules violation constantly.

We can also-- this is a great place to build in some project-based learning. Adults learn best when they do. They learn when there's an activity that's real. So asking them to-- sorry, my brain just stopped thinking. Asking them to do an activity that is project-based, like designing a room, or how much carpet they need, or you're going to design a room with these three shapes in it, that's a little bit more real, as opposed to, can you please just find the area or the surface area of this random shape.

And the last one on here is one of the biggest things for me, is letting students determine their gaps in their-- just letting them determine their gaps. And they can do that by reviewing data. They can focus on their areas that they want to focus on instead of going through everything.

And I'm not going to joke with you all. This is really hard for me. As a teacher, I thought, well, I'm going to tell them what to do. This is what we're going to do. And when I stopped, and I let my students have control over that, we got there much faster. And the end goal was the same. Students were learning, and we were making progress.

So here's an example of that. I just popped up here at CASAs-- a CASA math test here, and what their scores were on it. This student, it focuses on the college and career readiness standards, and the math content areas, and the competencies, and the tasks. If a student is to look at this, any of these things that they pick, that's a good thing. It meets our curriculum progress report. It's meeting the college and career readiness standards. It's going to help them get better scores on their CASA test, right?

So who am I as the teacher to say, well, you hate geometry, but that's what we're going to learn this quarter, so only geometry being taught. Just geometry. That doesn't make a lot of sense. If the student wants to work independently on some other things, that's cool. It doesn't mean that they're never going to do geometry, but if they really want to focus on this particular day, for instance, statistics and probability because they have a 62% pass correct rate there, that gives them confidence. Like, that's something that they know that they're kind of doing OK at, that they can probably get better fairly quickly. Why not let them focus there?

End result, they're learning, they're making progress. That doesn't mean that they're not going to touch on other things later. It just means that you're giving them the choice to focus on something. You're letting them see where they're really at, and you're letting them be in control of their learning.

Letting our students struggle, letting them self-direct, letting students see their gaps, that was one of the hardest things for me ever as a teacher. I really wanted to say, no, you have 0% in government and law. We must get a number there. No, that made it about me, and it did not embrace the adult learning theory. And as soon as I stopped and I let that shift, and the students became self-directed, learning was happening faster.

It took away the fight. Took away the struggle. And it took away, honestly, my ego from that, because there's no place really for that in the classroom. And let the students go with that. It let them focus on doing. It let them focus on having that power of choice. So I do highly, highly encourage you to take the time, let them look at their gaps. Let them look authentically where they're at. Let them make some choices.

Because, again, you can't go wrong if you let them choose something off their test score, right? End result, scores are going up, we're meeting our standards. It's a wonderful thing. OK. So this-- folks, the next thing we're to talk about is motivation. The key, the hardest thing with all of our students.

Adults are internally motivated and they're self-directed. There is not a cheerleader and there is not a "do it for me" that's going to get an adult motivated as fast as they can motivate themselves. So adult learners will resist learning when they feel others are telling them what to do. Adult learners need to be free to direct themselves. And as teachers, we have to be ready to actively involve students in the learning process and in that decision-making about what they're going to learn and facilitate that conversation instead of relying on, this is what I want you to know, this is what you have to learn right now.

So embracing our students' perspectives and giving them flexibility to make some choices, that creates the motivation. It helps shift our students to say, I learn because I want to. I learn because I chose to learn this. It makes it more internal. Crazy.

Knowles tells us, "The motivation for higher self-esteem, increased job satisfaction, and a better quality of life all outweigh the external motivators such as job promotions, increased status, and a higher salary." That is a lot. The idea that my student can be motivated to learn because they're going to feel better about themselves instead of because I told them to, that's way different.

But it makes sense. As an adult, I learn because I want to learn. I certainly don't learn because somebody told me I had to. That makes me angry and bitter. We've all sat through those block trainings, right, where we have somebody reading slideshows to us, and we are doodling, and we are not paying attention, and we're frustrated that we have to be there to sign an 844, because somebody told us we had to.

No. If I know that it's going to make me feel better about myself, I'm in. I'm ready to learn. If my life is going to get better, I'm in. But if somebody is going to give me a promotion, eh, if that doesn't make my life better, I'm not so keen on it. It's such a big deal.

So let's talk about how we can actually do that in our classroom, because I know this is it. So the very first thing I put on here was to make students feel like education is a choice, not a requirement, reminding them that they're making the choice by showing up and working hard, and that they're making a good choice, that's huge, and simple.

Simply saying, as your students walk in and say, yeah, I appreciate you showing up today. I appreciate you making the effort to get here, that's cool. We know it's a requirement. We know that they're mandated to come to school. However, saying that you recognize that they chose to show up, because they could refuse, that's a start of it.

Tapping into students' internal motivations. Asking them what their goals were at the very beginning. What is your goal? What do you want out of this class? And remembering that? Huge. Whoever just talked about helping a student with their homework, or not a student, helping a child or a grandchild with their homework, feeling more confident, being a good role model? Those are things that will help keep our students engaged.

Tapping into our students' self-worth and recognizing that they're worthy, they're worthy of learning, they're worthy of contributing, honoring them for contributing makes them feel capable. That motivates them. When students can help appear, or they can teach somebody else, that motivates them to do better.

It motivates them to be the very best they can with that skill, because they want to do better for their peers. Asking our students to set their own learning goals, it takes time. It takes great classroom management. It takes time and investment in there. And I know sometimes we don't have some time. I know sometimes that our students are in and out. It feels like a revolving door.

If you have that, if you have the luxury of having students for a few weeks or longer, asking them to set those goals. It's powerful. And this last one, giving accurate and authentic performance feedback, so big, so big. Right now in CDCR, education progress reports are coming out. And I know they're a hassle. And I know they're time consuming. They're so valuable.

When you're honest with a student on there and you say, I appreciate your effort, that makes them work harder, or when you tell them, I think that you did not turn in these assignments, and you refused these days, and it's in writing, that lets them know that you're being authentic. That lets them know that you see them as a person, and you see them as a student. Even if it's negative, they still know that you see them, and that motivates them as well.

I'm gonna share with you this quick form. I call it Can and Will, or sometimes I call it Want and Will. I use this with my students that were a handful, my troubled students, my students that, it was a fight all the time to get them motivated. It was a fight to get them to make an effort. So I just asked them, what do you want to learn? What are you trying to learn? What are you trying to get? What are you trying to achieve? And what are your attitudes and actions that are going to help you achieve it?

So this goes back to that same young man that told me he wanted out of class, and he was going to lie, cheat, and steal any way he could to get out of class. And me just accepting that saying, OK, you want to get out of class, not taking it personal, not trying to cheerleader him over to the side that education is good. Me just embracing that and then holding him accountable made all the difference in the world. It made that student motivated to not be what he told me he was going to be. So anyways asking them to document that and put it in writing gives that value and hopefully will help with that motivation.

I saw a couple of things come in to the Q&A. Will you let me know what's on there?

Speaker 2: Yes. Let's see. So Theodore wrote, how were you able to blend andragogy theory with transformative learning theory. What procedures or practices did you do?

Jennifer West: So one of the practices is asking-- and hopefully I'm on the right page with you-- would be asking those open ended questions, and listening, and reflecting back what the students say. And not projecting myself into it, not taking it personal. If a student has no interest in getting a GED or has no value in education, even though that hurts my heart and my core because I believe education is the answer, I can't believe it for them, so asking them, well, what would make a difference? How would this look asking them and embracing and reflecting back what they have to say?

Speaker 2: Jennifer we have a question, let's see, from Laurie. And it says, are you addressing social justice Black Lives Matter issues in your settings correctional to inform teaching and learning?

Jennifer West: And I actually don't have an answer to that. As an academic coach, that's not something that I would be working with. I know that as an institution or as a-- I guess as a-- I don't know. As CDCR and OCE, Office of Correctional Education, that is something that-- absolutely, all lives matter and definitely embracing ethnic diversity and cultural diversity, that's something that's in our textbooks. That is part of our instructional materials. So that certainly is happening.

Also, we use a program called Spark 3,000. There's been articles that are on there that are very current events and real, that I know some teachers have shared with their students and have had some open discussions about that. So I'm not sure that answered your question, but that's probably the best I got.

Speaker 2: We have a question from Karen. With regard to the feedback, accurate and authentic, would you consider also adding timely and regular? In other words, making it formative not summative?

Jennifer West: Oh, my goodness. I'm typing that in right now. Yes, timely is huge. Yes, summative, formative, either way, wherever you're at, it's really hard for me to say that if I've done some kind of a formative assessment that-- I know with COVID, it's been harder to do some summative assessments because there's just not that interaction and not that opportunity.

However, I think that if you're doing those formative assessments, then the summative is just a natural that happens afterwards. The timely part of that, I literally just typed that in on my other computer. Yes, so thank you for that. I appreciate that a million times.

If we don't let our students know how they're doing, think about that as any of us that have ever taken a test for anything, or put in an application for a loan, or put in an application to get a new apartment or whatever, that wait time is not comfortable. Even if you know you have great credit and you put in a loan, or you want to refinance your house, you still get anxious, and you're still kind of on edge, and you want some feedback. You want to know. Our students feel the same way.

So, yeah, be timely. And be honest. Like, goodness, our clients in adult education, they can spot somebody that's given them BS faster than we can give it. So they know. Nobody has time for that. OK. Any more questions?

Speaker 2: No, I've missed a couple that have been in the chat because Q&A-- if you have questions for Jennifer regarding her presentation, please put them in Q&A. Remember that there is one towards the end of the chat. I understand that adults respond more to internal motivation, but have do you used some external motivators in your class that have been effective?

Jennifer West: Absolutely. So one of the things for motivation in classes-- and it depends on your personality and it depends on your clients and it depends on your students. But one of the things I personally used was competition between my classes. We had a typing program. The students loved to get on and do their typing like, the last 10 minutes of class. And we'd always have the person that had the most words per minute. So we'd have that natural competition between each other going on, and whichever class got the highest ones, they got extra typing time, or they got-- I would read to them. Every Friday, I'd read part of a book to them, and they'd get extra read time with that.

So that was huge. Same with that reading as an external thing. If they wanted to be the person to read in front of the class, they had to earn it. So, yes, I've used external successfully, but more as a classroom management tool, less as a personal motivation to learn.

I know I have a teacher that I work with regularly. Her students, it blows my mind. These are adult men at a level two institution. They will do anything to get a sticker on their paper. I'm like, what? They will do what for-- anything for a sticker. They just want a sticker on their paper. That works in her classroom. That certainly is an external motivator. She uses it definitely to get work done, uses it to manage her class. And if that helps them as the side benefit, that they're motivating themselves to learn, that's awesome. Those are my couple examples.

Speaker 2: You have folks that are chiming in the chat from the CDCR community, and we appreciate you very much for answering some of those questions that are falling in the chat. Again, if you have questions for Jennifer, our presenter, please put them in the Q&A.

There is a question, and I know some other folks have chimed in here, is there a website for teachers interested in teaching ESL at the correctional level? I think if you send me a private email, I will give you some resources on that, but there's not specifically a website that I know of that focuses on correctional education, English language learners.

But within corrections, we do have English language learners. We do have some instructional materials that we embrace and that we use, but we don't have a specific English language learner class at this time. Another one that I found in the chat is, is there an ESL program for students at CDCR. Some of it was addressed in the chat, but some folks chiming in. But--

Jennifer West: So follow up? Yeah, so all students within CDCR, if you don't have a GED, you are part of the adult education program. Currently, there is not a specific, like, a bilingual class happening, but their students are treated as adult learners, and we focus on getting them skills to get to their GED.

Speaker 2: Art just added to the Q and A. You spoke of self-esteem as a key factor in motivating a student to learn. Can you make suggestions to how a student can feel a sense of personal achievement?

Jennifer West: Yes, so that said that personal achievement is big. I have found, in my experience working with adults, and especially incarcerated adults, men, letting them know privately that you appreciate that they made that effort, in praising their effort, not praising the outcome, not praising the paper that they created, or the assignment they did, but praising the effort that they took, praising, and just simply saying, I really saw you focus and work really diligently today on that assignment. I appreciate that a lot. I just want to let you know that.

Or telling a student, hey, I know it's outside of your comfort zone to talk and sit and work in a small group. I want you to know I recognize that, and good job today on that. So recognizing them as a person, not their academic skill, is that kind of a motivator that I believe helps build their self-esteem.

And I just lost my whole train of thought, so that's good. So maybe I'll come back to that if I think-- or will you read me the question again? Sorry.

Speaker 2: Sorry. Yes. I needed to unmute. You spoke of self-esteem as a key factor in motivating a student to learn. Can you make suggestions to how a student can feel a sense of personal achievement?

Jennifer West: So, yes, thank you. That helps me. So the other part of that is to have students, when they make their action plan about how they're going to achieve those goals, and then there's this section where when they achieve an action step, let them see that. Let them see their test scores. Let them see the progress that they're making, that they're making. You're not making the progress, but when it's in black and white that, here's your test scores that you had before, and here's where-- let them see the comparison. Let them make that comparison.

Don't do it for them. Don't say, oh, look you came up 11% here. When they see that, and then you recognize that and say, hey, good job on raising some scores, that helps build their self-esteem. It makes them-- you know that you're recognizing what they've done as opposed to micromanaging it. And that's the difference in that to help build that self-esteem.

So when they're in charge and they get to see, they made the choice, they put in the effort, and then they see that result, that builds their self-esteem. Just like for us. Like, I don't know how many people on here ever set the goal of like, hey, I'm going to lose that COVID 15 that I gained maybe in the last three months.

Well, that's cool. But I don't feel really good about myself until I start to lose some weight. And I don't know how to do that until I start to get up and move, or I start to limit my calories, or I need to take that action. Somebody telling me, hey, you look you look good, well, that's going to help a little bit, but that's not really going to keep me motivated to get there until the numbers on the scale go down, or my clothes fit differently.

So I kind of try to compare that to that all the time. I guess as a person, if I want to set a weight loss goal, somebody noticing that I've lost weight and I look good, that's a compliment, and it feels good, but it's short-lived. If I'm changing my actions, and I personally am holding myself accountable, then that feeds my motivation.

All right. Any other questions on there?

Speaker 2: We're good. Thank you, Jessica. I'm sorry. Thank you, Jennifer. Jessica is typing.

Jennifer West: That's OK.


I'll take any name. I'm good. Call me speaker lady.

Speaker 2: So the Q&A looks like we're-- no more open questions there. But I do want encourage everybody to check the chat because there are folks that are chiming in with answers from their end as well, which we definitely love and appreciate, so take a look at some of those comments in the chat. Yes. And I'll hand it right back to you.

Jennifer West: All right. The very last part of my presentation today is to talk about building a learning culture. And this is where it all comes together, where I have a team of students and teachers and administrators. And administrators, I didn't type it out, but that would be custody, that would be administrators at the local level and at the state level. All together, coming onto the same page to create this culture for student success.

So let's start with students. When they're self-directed and they're self-motivated and they're self-regulating, they're becoming learners and lifelong learners, where they're excited about learning new things. When I talk about lifelong learners, I'm not talking about somebody that's going to get their JD, and then go to junior college, and then go to a traditional school. I'm not talking about that.

I'm talking about wanting to learn new things, looking at the world differently and wanting to learn, to make the world a better place. Wanting to learn to make their world a better place. So once we get our students there, like, it's a beautiful moment. To do that, it takes the partnership with our teachers and our administrators. So as teachers, as I continue to develop skills, and I continue to develop knowledge to help my students become self-directed, to become motivated, to become self-regulating, that's a big deal.

So we're all doing that. As adult educators, we're all really good teachers, or we wouldn't be doing this, right? But we all have a lot of training. It's just getting to that next step and saying, hm, maybe if I look at it differently, or if I approach it differently. And that feeds right into understanding learning and why it's needed.

I know that when I went through my teaching credentialing program 5 million years ago, nobody taught me how to work with adults. I learned how to work with K-12 students or K-8 students, and I learned how to be the teacher that had my teacher's edition, had my curriculum, and how to spoon feed that to my students.

I learned how to make some fun projects, but I certainly didn't learn how to-- there was no course that taught me how to motivate students internally to want to learn. So the more that I understand that that's a need, and the more that I understand how people learn, the more I can get my students where they need to be.

The facilitating and creating those learning environments, guys, as teachers, sometimes that's hard for us. Like, I'm actually struggling a little bit today because I'm not having an interaction and nobody's interrupting and talking to me. And I am used to that, and I appreciate that. And I want you all to be doing a project. I don't want to be talking the whole time.

Getting there-- once you're there, it's really hard to come back. So creating those opportunities for our students to learn and continue to learn and continue to share that learning and facilitating that, that's where the happy place is. That's the good spot as adult educators.

To do that, asking our administrators-- again, local, state, and custody-- to help create that learning environment, that sometimes is one of our biggest challenges. I get it. Sometimes, gosh. We just want to clean space that doesn't have a leaky roof that is ready for our students to learn, or we just want a classroom that doesn't smell like OC because we had a fight in there yesterday.

I get it. Creating that learning environment is huge. But we can help with that. We can help with that by setting the expectation that when you walk into education, it's education. This is a place where learning happens. And if you don't want to be part of that, there's the door. Really holding that high standard will help create that learning environment. Our administrators, our site administrators, them making sure we have enough tables, or chairs, or cleaning supplies, that's a big deal. And that's something to have that conversation with your administrators about.

I know that OCE and CDCR as a whole has been working really hard on providing time for collaboration, providing that time for professional development, providing time outside of your classroom where you can connect with your colleagues, and share ideas, and say, hey, this is not working for me. Am I crazy? What do I do?

Creating those relationships is hard sometimes as adults. And it might even be harder when you're isolated at an institution or in an adult education setting where you might be the only one that teaches that within two or three miles. Like, you would have to walk out far to talk to somebody, or you're working a night program, or you're the only person at your institution that teaches that level because you have a small yard.

So providing that time, huge. I want to encourage everybody to join a PLC if you're not in one. There's virtual ones. We'll get them back up and running at CDCR within a couple of weeks, I think. Definitely reach out and make that happen.

And the last part, which administrators I can help provide resources for lifelong learning, not just for students, but for teachers as well, those are opportunities for growth. And those opportunities to put yourself in the student's place, those opportunities for you to become better, those opportunities for you to actually learn how to use that smart board that's in your classroom, those are important to create that learning culture.

And for your students to see that you're not the end all, you are not-- you're not Google, you don't know everything, you're learning right along with them, that creates faith that you're human and that you are invested in their education. That does not make your students believe that you're stupid. That makes your students believe that you're a learner with them, and adults need that. Adults want to be with people that are on the same page as them. There's comfort in that.

So resources for lifelong learning, that happens mostly through our administration, local and state level. So that just makes me super happy that y'all on here, on this call, and/or on this Zoom, and are learning, and want to learn. So that's pretty awesome.

All right. So here we go. Questions, comments, insights? And while that's happening, I'm going to put up-- here's my contact information. You're welcome to email me, anybody, anytime, and I will try to shoot you some resources, or help you out with things, or get you to the right person that can provide you answers.

Speaker 2: So we have no more questions in the Q&A and a lot of praise and appreciation for you, Jennifer, and you're a great presentation today. So I love how active the chat box has been with so many people actually contributing and talking about different topics. We appreciate that.