Rapid changes in technology, the nature of organisations, non-traditional career progression, globalisation and ’virtual worlds’ mean that we need to become ever more effective learners in order to keep pace with the demands placed upon us. Our patterns of understanding, the ways in which we make sense of our work and our world, hardly become fixed before we are asked to change them and form new ones. The ability to build patterns is fundamental to our ability to learn. Ann Alder’s Pattern Making, Pattern Breaking explores the ways in which educators and facilitators can work to help students build those patterns that will be most useful to them. These may be ’technical’ patterns of language, number, sequence or process. They may be thinking patterns that support problem-solving, creativity, logical analysis or empathy. They may be patterns of behaviour that demonstrate trust, influence or integrity in relationships. Ann also illustrates how you can teach students to break patterns: to help them move on in the learning process by recognising and rejecting long-held patterns of behaviour or assumptions that are unhelpful or redundant. Formal education and training do not necessarily produce learners who are well-resourced to take advantage of opportunities that arise and to avoid some of the stresses that uncertainty, ambiguity or imposed change place upon them. So, perhaps one of the most important patterns that we can explore and understand as we move forward, in a changing world, is our own pattern of learning. Whether you are a parent, teacher, tutor, trainer, coach or manager, you need to be an effective facilitator of learning and this book is the perfect starting place.
Ann Alder has spent 30 years as an educator, in teaching, teacher training and adult education before moving into her current specialism as a facilitator of individual and organisational learning and development. Ann worked as Staff Development Manager for a leading UK Leadership and Management Development Centre before establishing her own learning design business, in partnership with her husband. She is an internationally recognised expert in the facilitation of experiential learning and now transfers her knowledge and expertise to others through professional training programmes, seminars and conferences and through her writing and coaching. She works with individuals, teams and learning groups from commercial businesses, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations around the world. Ann is a creative designer, developing learning programmes and activities that draw upon the best academic research and proven, practical training methodologies. She is a coach at IMD in Switzerland, personal coach to executives in a number of European businesses and a Director, lead consultant and facilitator on programmes delivered by RSVP Design Ltd. Ann's commitment to improving the quality of organisational learning and the confidence and skills of learning faciltators has led to this book. It draws on personal experience, the wisdom of some of the world's best facilitators and trainers and the energy and expertise of her many and varied clients, from senior leaders in global corporations to children in classrooms.
'Straight forward, helpful and well structured, the book is easy to read and digest and is well chunked down...From a facilitator’s point of view, I would have loved to have read this book ten years ago. I am sure it would have helped me not to make so many mistakes and perhaps over come hurdles less painfully. I would strongly recommend this book to others; in fact I will buy a copy for each of my team who are all working on their facilitation work. I strongly believe this book would be welcome in the toolkit of many L&D professionals. This is not a book that will gather dust once it has been read. I have already revisited a chapter or two to review for some hints and tips, and I only finished it last week. A straight forward, helpful book that will provide, the individual new to the art of facilitation and the experienced facilitator with food for thought. Well done Ann, you have obviously worked hard on this and it shows.' - Lesley Powley, Corporate Learning and Development Manager at the Scottish Court Service 'Barely having read a line I grabbed a pen and notebook and started jotting down new ideas on how to approach, conduct and evaluate my teachings. As a trial and error learner myself 'Pattern Making Pattern Breaking' gave me great new didactical insights and made me more conscious of my own behavioural patterns as a learner and the environment I teach in. What makes this book special is that it makes you feel comfortable and confident in the actual pattern making and pattern breaking. I believe different kinds of people will enjoy this book, because it can be used in so many ways. It feels like Ann Alder invented empathy. She offers many perspectives and solutions without judgment, which is energizing and truly inspiring.' - Vanessa E. de Groot, Program Coordinator and Lecturer Multimedia Design, Raffles Design Institute, China