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background: new practitioner orientation

Orientation sessions are being scheduled for the fall of 2009. To learn more, please contact Janet Isserlis by email or at 401.863.2839.


a working outline for adult educators : Rhode Island new practitioner orientation

In June of 2007, the RI Professional Development Center ran a pilot of its new practitioners orientation. Practitioners were invited to apply to attend, in response to this call for participation:

New teacher orientation pilot:

As many of you may know, Rhode Island adult educators have been working on an orientation process for practitioners who are new (either just beginning, or within the early years of their work as educators). On June 11, 13 and 15 (from 9-3 pm) we will be implementing a first trial of an orientation process, designed (this time) mostly for classroom teachers; in time we hope to broaden this orientation to include all practitioners - teachers, administrators, program staff. We invite applications to participate in this first pilot - and welcome practitioners who can commit to complete the following:

- prepare a written observation of an adult education class; and/or a written reflection of one's own class (to be completed prior to the first meeting on June 11th)
- Attend all three meetings - June 11, 13, 15, from 9 to 3 - complete tasks within and between the meetings (these will not be very time-consuming, and will generally require no more than an hour's work)
- Reconvene in the early fall electronically and/or in a culminating meeting in order to provide final recommendations/feedback. The purpose of this meeting (or email discussion - to be determined) is to allow participants time to reflect on a set of guided questions that will be distributed at the end of the three-day pilot session).
We welcome a mix of new and somewhat more experienced practitioners for this pilot, and ask that you answer the following questions, (by email, fax or snail mail) by May 25th:

What do you believe an orientation should include?

What are you hoping to learn from your participation?

Have you ever participated in a similar orientation process before - either within your current program, or in another field?

In addition to written responses to these questions, participants were asked to read Persistence: Helping Adult Education Students Reach Their Goals by John Comings. at http://www.ncsall.net/index.php?id=1175, prior to the first session.


Fourteen practitioners participated in this pilot. Their input, and the feedback from others who've subsequently participated in the process have enabled us to develop an orientation that is responsive to the varying needs, knowledge and strength of all practitioners, while ensuring that key points are covered for every cohort. Content and processes for the orientation are detailed on the main NPO page.


August 27, 2009


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