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A Powerful Model for Self-Mastery

So you have this burning question that pops into your mind… you build up the courage and dare to ask. And your professor, trainer, or mentor responds with something like this;

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Ok, so being an English language teacher in the past, I might have been guilty

of doing this … on occasions. But I promise - I’ve seen the error of my ways.

It might seem that your trainer or mentor is just so .. regimented. And you might think, “ Hey, do you actually know the answer or not?”

Rushing through the material to be learned is a common pitfall of educators, especially for those who have a burning desire to hit all of those learning objectives in their lesson plans. And it can even result in the most critical error ever. Which is

Not giving a BEEP.

Just kidding … It’s not giving you the feedback to truly help you grow. So where does that leave you?

Now to be fair, there are a lot of reasons why you might be left on the periphery. Educators are often faced with too much work with too little time to creatively conjure up engaging lessons time and time again just for your individual learning — especially if the teacher or trainer is green (i.e. very little experience in their job).


And looking back at my first year of teaching English in Moscow, I was well, a bit clueless as to how much material to get through in a lesson. So, naturally, I asked the academic advisor for some ballpark figures. To which she replied in a firm, husky Russian voice “You should cover 2 pages of the coursebook for a 90-minute lesson.” And I agreed by saying “Ok, fine. I’ll aim for that.”

Flash forward to what actually happened ...

Well not all the time, but perhaps a little too often. Needless to say, I didn’t follow the advice given. Anyway, this brings us to the next critical error that impacts you.

Educators with a lack of structure to their lessons. I mean, I think we’ve all had the experience of sitting down bright-eyed and bushy tailed ready to dive into our topic of fascination, only to be left sitting there in silent torture listening to the teacher aimlessly waffle on, jumping from one seemingly unrelated topic to the next. In turn, this may cause you to seriously ponder whether or not you’d rather be watching paint dry instead.

Of course, great educators, not just great educators, but even mediocre educators know that being open to learner suggestions to improve their lessons is a given. But if they are not open to taking your feedback on what will help you better understand, then this model of learning you’re about to explore will empower you by taking your learning into your own hands.

The 5E Model

The 5E Model

There are five stages to this model.

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Admittedly this model of learning has probably already been unleashed on you unwittingly, and you just didn’t notice. So, I’m going to open up the teacher's little black box of secrets and share this with you now.

I have personally used this learning model to design learning experiences, and the results were fantastic. It’s holistic, it’s comprehensive AND it provides a gateway to continuous learning. If you haven’t heard of or tried the 5E Model, I highly recommend following my posts, as I will be breaking each section down into separate blogs. But for now, here 3 critical points you must remember.

  1. It’s important to understand that each phase is interconnected and serves a specific purpose to help you build a deeper understanding of the topic at hand.

  2. It’s also imperative to clarify here that I am not talking about memorisation techniques — those are more suited for preparing for tests and elementary-style learning. We are talking about a fully-fledged highly suitable model for ADULT learning, otherwise known as Andragogy.

  3. This powerful approach is commonly known as inquiry-based or problem-based learning. So naturally, it t requires that you pick your topic and stick to it throughout the process. That’s not to say that it cannot be expanded upon. In fact, that is exactly what might happen. What I’m saying is don’t pick Applied Machine Learning and then jump over to the Renaissance Art period halfway through the cycle.

What’s next?

In the following blogs, at each phase, we’ll take a look at an example of how a trainer, facilitator, or teacher would apply it. Then, most importantly, how you can apply it in a self-directed learning situation.

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