Involve Me

For someone to truly learn a subject, they must be interested and inspired.

In the East, Confucius is noted as having said, “Tell me, and I will forget; Show me, and I may remember; Involve me, and I will understand” in ancient China. In the West, Mentor was a trusted and wise advisor in ancient Greece. Both represent a simple and effective teaching technique, yet it is not used enough in the modern world. In business, in school, all too often policy, tools, or presentation limit learning for both teachers and students, or trainers do not invest the time and passion they should with their students.

Involve Me is teaching with a difference. More than ever before we are learning new things every day in a world full of information, but it is rarely effective either in professional business or at school. Why aren’t courses effective? Why don’t students retain information easily? How can you engage the class?

This book gives tips and techniques for engaging students and gaining their interest. Relationships, student investment, structure, delivery, flexibility and focus are all critical to helping students understand quickly and easily – and remember what they have learned. It looks at why teaching is the best way to learn, why being informal works better, why presentation is key, why a curriculum should not be rigid… and much more.

Involve Me also takes a deeper look at why these techniques get results, and gives examples taken from real world training that can be applied to any teaching situation effectively – with students from many different cultures and countries. Whether you train intensively in IT, or teach in a school, you can benefit from using these techniques to help people become interested and invested in any subject.

Mentor students in a relaxed and intuitive fashion, work with them, inspire them, and involve them… and they will understand.

Combining sage insights from the disparate likes of Confucius, Bruce Lee and Phil Collins with his own experience as an international IT trainer; Christopher Bramley has compiled a deceptively concise and readable guide to effective teaching. Full of useful tips and sensible information, ‘Involve Me’ asserts virtually any subject can be made interesting and engaging. What you need is flexibility, creativity, humour, a good, honest relationship with students – and a few tricks up your sleeve. These include “mental parsley” in the form of regular off-topic breaks to “cleanse the mental palate”. “Elbow Room” allowing time for the unexpected and unplanned. “Deep Ending” to challenge students “to the nth degree.” And the ability to “flow around a problem like water” – an attribute of which the late actor Bruce Lee would apparently have been proud. Boring “information crammed dumps” and “death by PowerPoint” are out.. With quirky asides (Bramley describes how he has deep-ended himself many times) the author’s infectious enthusiasm comes across loud and clear. This is not a training manual he insists but; “a set of observations and techniques that I believe make a difference.” And they are as relevant to other fields as they are to his own area in IT, he adds. A recurring theme is that the learning process is not for the students alone. Tricky questions, class discussions and joint problem solving means the teacher learns too. Don’t claim to know the answer to every question, says Bramley. It can look very cool if you solve a thorny issue by working it out in-front of, or with, your class. Championing the principle of “student driven” learning; ‘Involve Me’ is full of helpful information written in a simple, engaging style. It ranges from optimal class size, course structure, pace and timing to how to manage personal connections and different cultures, classroom atmosphere and tricky students. The book also deals with presentation techniques, the use (or not) of handouts and PowerPoint and how to respond to feedback and criticism. It takes its title from a 2500 year old saying by Confucius which is just as relevant today; ‘Tell Me and I Will Forget, Show Me and I May Remember, Involve Me and I will Understand…
Ingrid Morris
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Publisher: Sanctum Publishing
ISBN: 9780993127328

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