Kathy Sierra and Thoughts on Professional Development

I have several times wondered what had happened to Kathy Sierra.  We used her blog post Crash Course in Learning Theory with several courses to try to break people out of merely parroting “Constructivism, Behavourism and usually one other” with poorly examined definitions and application.

I stumbled upon this post from Gardner Campbells blog Gardner Writes: Kathy Sierra Lives.

A little quote:

Can we find a way to work with our legacy brain to get cognition and affect to work together to get us to our goals?

I can’t help pointing out the John Donne connection here. T. S. Eliot wrote this about Donne: “To Donne, a thought was an experience: it modified his sensibility.” And I think the process will work in reverse.

Kathy notes that we must choose our cognitive/affect triggers carefully so we encourage relevant practice and not irrelevant personal tangents. I agree, though there’s real artistry needed here, as that legacy brain spam filter will skew “relevance” toward very narrow channels if we’re not careful.

Great point here: adopting a more conversational voice triggers the hold-up-my-end-of-the-conversation reflex in our minds. We feel we’re in a real give-and-take, not simply a one-way broadcast.

We are still in a time delimited workshop training session mentality in many respects.  In the dreadful staff development 90 minute sessions, can we find better ways to engage and focus without imposing a pathway, a straitjacket, a lack of mystery and magic and taking the minds in the room off creativity and originality?

A post worth reading.  I’m sure there are more seeds of Kathy’s recent thoughts floating around on the net.  The top of the Google search produced this from just 11 days ago, a nice 6 minutes that obviously includes some of the ideas in the presentation Gardner comments on:

She didn’t call her blog “Creating passionate Users” for nothing.

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