Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2017 May

Change the Listener, Change the Discussion

This month’s tip comes from Jodi Wiley, an instructor at Lansing Community College in Lansing, MI.

I was teaching through the rationale for Positional Release. This includes diving back into the anatomy that most students gladly left behind a few semesters ago. We talk through basic afferent and efferent message pathways, golgi tendon organs, spindle cells, and even annulospiral and flower spray neurons! After the lesson, I had them summarize the lesson in their own words to a partner as if they were telling another massage therapist who didn’t know the information. THEN, I had them share with another partner as if they were sharing the rationale with a client (very different).

It worked SO WELL! I’ll definitely use that trick again for Positional Release class, but also others. Yay!

Thank you for sharing this, Jodi. It’s super important to practice explaining what we are doing and why we are doing it. But it’s even more important to practice varying our explanations and discussions based on the actual person listening. We have to find out the listener’s perspective and knowledge base, and then describe in appropriate terminology that they can understand (without being too simplistic or condescending). Sometimes that takes a lot of practice.

Well done, Jodi and Lansing Community College!