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Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults [Hardcover]

By Jane Vella (Author)
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Item description for Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults by Jane Vella...

Overview
In Taking Learning to Task, Vella shifts the spotlight from teaching tasks to learning tasks. Unlike traditional teaching methods, learning tasks are open questions leading to open dialogue between teacher and learner. To illustrate this unique approach, Vella provides seven steps to planning learning-centered courses, four types of learning tasks, a checklist of principles and practices, critical questions for instructional design, key components for evaluation, and other tools. She also shares real-world examples of successful learning programs, including online and distance-learning courses. Taking Learning to Task is a hands-on, practical guide to designing effective learning tasks for diverse learners and diverse content. Teachers, trainers, and all types of instructors will find a wealth of advice for refining their day-to-day practice

Publishers Description
"Reading this wonderful book is like having Jane Vella at your side. She gives us the courage to risk changing our established habits of teaching."
--Clifford Baden, director of programs for professional education, Harvard University
"By marrying theory and practice, Vella has shown how to design learning that takes hold of the learner--mind, heart, and muscles."
--Jack McCall, professor, Principals' Executive Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
"You'll feel as though you've found the keys to creating profound and powerfully effective learning experiences. Anyone responsible for engaging a group of adults in learning will find this book invaluable "
--Rod Brooks, vice president for administration, EXPLORIS
Known for her work in popular education and her worldwide teaching experience, Jane Vella has significantly changed the way we view adult learning. In her three bestselling books--Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach, Training Through Dialogue, and How Do They Know They Know?--she writes with one basic assumption: that learning is most effective when teachers involve their students in the learning process.
In Taking Learning to Task, Vella shifts the spotlight from teaching tasks to learning tasks. Unlike traditional teaching methods, learning tasks are open questions leading to open dialogue between teacher and learner. To illustrate this unique approach, Vella provides seven steps to planning learning-centered courses, four types of learning tasks, a checklist of principles and practices, critical questions for instructional design, key components for evaluation, and other tools. She also shares real-world examples of successful learning programs, including online and distance-learning courses. Taking Learning to Task is a hands-on, practical guide to designing effective learning tasks for diverse learners and diverse content. Teachers, trainers, and all types of instructors will find a wealth of advice for refining their day-to-day practice.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults by Jane Vella has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Reference and Research Bk News - 02/01/2001 page 155
  • Choice - 09/01/2001 page 179


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Jossey-Bass
Pages   151
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.25" Width: 6.24" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.79 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 25, 2000
Publisher   Jossey-Bass
ISBN  0787952273  
ISBN13  9780787952273  


Availability  0 units.


More About Jane Vella


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Jane Vella founded the Jubilee Popular Education Center (now Global Learning Partners) in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is an adjunct professor at the School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has designed and led community education and staff development programs in more than forty countries around the world. She is the author of five Jossey-Bass titles including Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach; Taking Learning to Task; and Dialogue Education at Work. She can be contacted at jane@globalearning.com.



Jane Vella currently resides in Raleigh, in the state of North Carolina. Jane Vella was born in 1931 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Jubilee Popular Education Center, Raleigh, North Carolina University o.

Jane Vella has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Reference > Education
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Adult & Continuing Education
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Education Theory > School Management
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > General
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Education > General



Reviews - What do customers think about Taking Learning to Task: Creative Strategies for Teaching Adults?

Should be in every adult educator's library  Nov 15, 2007
Taking learning to task is an excellent resource for any adult educator. The author recognizes the power of dialogue and demonstrates how to leverage that power in clear, practical steps. Taking all of her books together, Vella shows us how to create interactive environments that encourage deep and transformative learning. The book is based on solid adult education theory yet she does not burden the reader with a lot of unnecssary educational jargon; she cuts to the chase. Instead of just talking about the virtues of theorists such as Freire, she shows us how to do it. Furthermore, Vella writes from extensive cross-cultural experience which makes this book even more valuable in our globalized society.
 
This book grew on me (slightly)...  Mar 19, 2006
This book was an assigned text for a seminary class, which is the only reason that I read it. I have a degree in secondary education, so I spent considerable time during college studying these types of concepts, though the terminology in this book was new to me. I began this book with a chip on my shoulder about the psychobabble that seems to dominate many discussions about pedagogy, and she certainly reinforced several of those irritations. For instance, she spent considerable time describing the futility of lecture. I realize that lecture has significant limitations, but I think it is a silly overgeneralization to disregard its potential entirely.

Beyond this ideological dispute, my primary complaint about the book is that it is dreadfully dry. Vella is long on theory and short on inspiration. She may have some good things to say about teaching, but if the experience of teaching is anything like this book, who would want to do it!!

Having said these things, she was able to redeem herself on several levels. She provides some great tips for allowing learners to actually learn. Some of that information is summarized in several helpful charts. Her explanation of time management was particularly insightful. Specifically, I am compelled to make sure that I stop trying to fit too much "What" (content) into the allotted "When" (time slot). There is clearly some good stuff in this book; it is just a shame that it is so boring to find those nuggets of wisdom!!

By the way, how can a 130-page book cost $34? That is a crime. For that reason alone, I wouldn't recommend this book.

 
Good for new educators  Feb 10, 2002
When you are teaching a class of adults, do you find yourself wondering if the class is getting the information? Do you wonder if you are talking too much? These are questions for all adult educators, and this book is a good first start. It teaches the use of learning tasks rather than lectures.

Jane Vella is a trainer and an adjunct professor. She has written past works on adult training and, at times, refers to them in this book. The cultures and educational backgrounds of students she has taught are many, and she uses that experience. These techniques will help educators work with that.

The book is a short piece that has an easy tone. The beginning educator can easily access this without being caught up in theoretical discourse. This is designed for use rather than reflection. Likewise, Vella gives plenty of examples to walk you through the different steps in planning learning tasks. In one example, she discusses an online history course. Rather than have the student read the test and answer questions (basically enforcing rote memorization), the example asks the student to investigate how the US president gets power through the Constitution. The question is more of an open question that invites exploration rather than a closed question that asks for a parroting of the answer.

Unfortunately, not all of the steps are explained clearly. In some places, there is no example to illustrate the point. In one instance, she mentions there needs to be critical feeling in the lesson. This sounds like a great idea and probably the point that requires the most explanation, but there is no example to make sure the reader follows the writer.

There is also, in my opinion, a bit of bombast. Towards the beginning, Vella mentions graduate students she works with who have trouble with their dissertations. She proposes that they would have no trouble at all if they had learning tasks since preschool. Why is this in the book? If students were lectured on dissertations since preschool, I think they would have success in writing a dissertation in graduate school, too. Because this statement is in the beginning, it makes me wonder if she believes she has a system or idea that will sell itself.

Nonetheless, Vella�s book is good for the new instructor or the instructor who feels there must be a better way than lecturing; in contrast, the book may not be a good investment...

 
an important book for all training professionals  Feb 28, 2001
I think this book is a must for all people working in the field of adult education. Jane Vella has a unique way to give new life to old concepts, and to make us rediscover the basic principles to be used when designing and leading trainings. The concept of learning task Vella offers into this book it's a powerful tool for creating learning experiences that are going to make a difference in partecipant's life.
 

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