Brain-based learning refers to teaching methods and lesson designs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns.
We are living and working in an era of constant change and disruption influenced and informed by rapidly advancing technologies, climate change, and political and social uncertainties. This is happening at a time in human history in which we are also experiencing the most diversity in the workforce ever. This diversity is experienced across all identity dimensions including, age, gender identity, race and ethnic identity, faith and religion, disability, and social and political ideology. A diverse workforce brings with it diverse expectations from organizational culture and from organizational leadership. All this together has brought myriad complexities to organizational leaders along with a collective questioning of what it means to be a leader today.
From my perspective, this reimagination can be summed up very simply, we must learn to be more human humans.
As a student of human behavior and organizational systems, I find this to be an extraordinarily exciting time ripe with opportunities to reimagine the way we work. From my perspective, this reimagination can be summed up very simply, we must learn to be more human humans. (Thank you to my leadership mentor Margaret Wheatley for introducing this phrase into my own leadership vernacular.) This sounds much easier than it really is. To be a more human human, we must be on a constant journey of learning about the human condition. We must remain continuously open to unlearning belief systems that no longer serve our current realities and behaviors that no longer bring about the same effect, which means we must also be willing to relearn approaches to creating workplace culture and achieving business outcomes.
This is why I created the Workplace Peace Institute Leadership Academy, an online leadership training center where leaders and emerging leaders can access brain-based professional development courses grounded in adult learning theory.
Brain-Based Professional Development Courses
According to the Glossary of Education Reform, ”brain-based learning refers to teaching methods, lesson designs, and school programs that are based on the latest scientific research about how the brain learns, including such factors as cognitive development—how students learn differently as they age, grow, and mature socially, emotionally, and cognitively.” Workplace Peace Institute Online Leadership Academy courses are taught by instructors, most of whom have a PhD, MD, or equivalent, who have deep knowledge in the neuroscience of adult learning. Our instructors ensure that educational strategies are based on findings from neuroscience research. Our instructors recognize that every adult learner embodies differences in how they learn and build their courses to appeal to a wide variety of learning needs. This ensures that adult learning theory is grounded in all curriculum design.
Adult Learning Theory
Andragogy, or adult learning theory, is a learning approach specific to adult learners. Developed by Malcolm Knowles in 1968, andragogy operates with five key assumptions, each of which detail the general ways in which adults perceive and access learning.
As leaders operating within increasingly complex workplaces, we are opting into leadership training and leadership development courses to grow our capacity in understanding the human condition. We recognize that to lead in a constantly changing world, we must deepen our own understand of human behavior.
Self-Concept — A natural aspect of human development is to shift from being dependent to becoming increasingly independent, eventually we recognize our need for interdependence. Therefore, as learners, we evolve into a more self-directed approach while still acknowledging our need for collaboration in our learning. Our online leadership academy is designed so that each learner can effectively conceptualize their own learning experience. Our instructor-led video presentations incorporate self-reflection exercises, opened-ended questions, and one-on-one engagement with a Workplace Peace Institute subject matter expert to support the learner in situating their learning experience within their own real-world experiences and on-going collaboration opportunities with other learners.
Adult Learner Experience — Adults have significant experience from which they draw knowledge and references. To strengthen the brained-based professional development course experience, our online leadership academy includes access to a Community of Practice where individuals who are enrolled in the Academy can share how they are applying their learnings with a group of professionals engaging in same learning experience. Opportunities for thought partnership and collaboration are provided in the Community of Practice.
Readiness to Learn — Adult learners want to engage in learning for very specific reasons, specifically when it is directed toward growth and development related to their work. This is why our online leadership academy courses specifically orient the learning within the context of the learner’s real-world context. While case studies and instructor experiences are folded into the online video presentations, every module includes opportunities for learners to apply their learning to their own real-world leadership or professional context.
Orientation of Learning — Adults want their learning to be applicable to their everyday lives. We want practical skills that help us solve problems and work better. This is why every student of our online leadership academy is paired with a subject matter expert who holds, at minimum, a master’s level education in the subject matter and real-world subject matter expertise to support the adult learner in problem-solving in a contextually relevant learning environment.
Motivation to Learn — As children, we are exposed to learning because factors outside of ourselves (i.e., parents and teachers) impose learning on us. As adults, we opt-in to learning for our own reasons such as our own desire for development, to increase our problem-solving ability, to boost our self-esteem, etc. As leaders operating within increasingly complex workplaces, we are opting into leadership training and leadership development courses to grow our capacity in understanding the human condition. We recognize that to lead in a constantly changing world, we must deepen our own understand of human behavior.
Workplace Peace Institute Online Leadership Academy offers self-based, asynchronous, brain-based professional development courses in five specific learning tracks. We believe that to effectively lead today’s workforce, leaders must be highly proficient in the following competencies.
Online Leadership Academy Learning Tracks
Leadership Intelligences — Leadership intelligences merge experience and knowledge with personal and collective integrity within the context and culture of collaboration. Our leadership intelligence courses include:
New Paradigm Leadership Competencies — We believe 21st century problems won’t be solved with a 20th century leadership approach. New paradigm leadership core competencies courses offer a paradigm shift in what it means to be a leader paired with behavioral and communication competencies and skills necessary for leading a modern workforce. Our new paradigm leadership core competencies courses include:
Trauma-Informed Leadership, taught by Dr. Betty Iglesias Snyder
Conflict Resolution & Conflict Intervention — Leading in a constantly changing workplace requires that leaders have critical conflict engagement skills that bring positive peace to the workplace and create opportunities for people to thrive. Our conflict resolution courses include:
Navigating Tough Conversations with Confidence & Purpose, taught by Dr. Betty Iglesias Snyder
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging — Effective leadership requires the knowledge and skills to identify the values, structures, and behaviors that perpetuate systemic inequity paired with the ability to take actionable steps to create equity, inclusion and belonging to the workplace. Our DEIB courses include:
Begin your leadership journey toward becoming a more human human by enrolling in the Workplace Peace Institute Online Leadership Academy. Enroll in our brain-based leadership development courses and join us in reimagining work.
Workplace Peace Institute is an organization systems design and research firm that is singularly focused on creating workplace cultures where people thrive. Workplace Peace Institute supports small to mid-sized businesses in optimizing employee engagement, maximizing organizational productivity, and improving profitability by infusing human security and dignity as foundational attributes of their business model. Our Leadership Academy supports leaders in honoring basic human needs and dignity needs in the workplace, so they can actualize human potential in the workplace. The online Leadership Academy optimizes competencies in human behavior, communication skills, conflict resolution, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging to create highly engaged workplaces where basic human needs and dignity are consistently honored. All our courses are offered online and can be customized for in-person workshops and seminars.