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Story One

He knew only how to lecture

by Phil Bartle, PhD


Short stories to illustrate the principles

Kwabena did well at the university. He studied regularly, took good lecture notes, and was well organized. Now he was responsible for training community mobilisers, and his only role model was his university experience. He designed an excellent curriculum, covered all the important topics, and was very sensitive to his trainees.

But he only lectured. His trainees had difficulties staying awake in his classes, let alone retaining what he taught. He started to get a reputation for producing mobilisers who did not do well in the field. They vaguely remembered the principles but had difficulties putting them into practice.

Eventually his supervisor started hearing some complaints. Being a good manager, his supervisor did not criticise Kwabena, but pointed out his strengths, including a good knowledge of the issues, then suggested there were some ways he could improve his approach. Some guidance in role playing, simulation games, practice both in the classroom and in the field, and several other methods of training that involved more doing and less listening, were included. Soon Kwabena’s trainees were responding enthusiastically, and comments came in from the field that his trainees were doing much better. Kwabena soon became known as an ace mobiliser trainer.

Note: These stories are based on actual events. The names of people and places have been changed for the sake of anonymity.


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© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2011.07.25

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