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Whether you are an organizer, presenter, teacher, or volunteer, learning about the needs, interests and experiences of the participants attending your event is the foundation of effective planning, marketing, and teaching. Regardless of the content of your presentation, learners will come to field days with a variety of personal experiences, learning styles, ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and mental and physical abilities through which your information will be processed.
Every individual holds a unique set of background experiences and predilections that differentiate their worldviews. Experts have identified a number of learning styles, cultural characteristics, ways of thinking, and physiological and psychological needs that affect learning. Developing a strong awareness of these learning diversities will help you design more successful events and presentations.
Marissa, a participating fifth grade teacher, was pleased with how the field day worked for her students. As a member of the advisory team, she said, we helped the event organizers and presenters plan for our students. Fifth graders are pretty social and are going through growth spurts. Different ones like to learn in different ways. Some have allergies to foods. And you want to be discrete in correcting misbehavior. Based on the advice of teachers like Marissa, student background information from registration forms and some internet resources, the field day organizers made sure they knew about their students. One organizer, Heidi, explained, We provide lunch for students at our field day. So, we want to make sure there are enough diabetic or wheat-free options for students who need them.We try to make sure activities include a variety of learning styles. And before the event, we sent presenters a packet of information about fifth grade students, like how they might be a little clumsy due to growth spurts and like to be social with their friends. Heidi said, We want the students to feel like the field day was designed for them.
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