Humour and Learning: A Self-Study of My Practice as an Adult Educator
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This study examined my lived experiences as a frontline practitioner and adult educator in a local nonprofit community organization. Using self-study research methodology, I explored my professional practice as a facilitator of job search skills training with newcomers to Canada and the impact of humour on their learning, a topic for which I have a particular passion. To better inform my practice, I designed and delivered job search skills workshops on resume writing and cold-calling/networking. I used a variety of data sources including a literature review, personal observations, and reflections as well as secondary data sources from workshop evaluations and unsolicited feedback emails from participants. Findings from the self-study indicated that adult learners who experience entertaining and fun-filled lessons that use appropriate humour have better learning results, are more confident, and are better prepared to apply skills required for achieving career goals. Further, I learned in my practice that my challenge as an adult educator is to ensure humour is appropriately used and adds value to the learning rather than being the focus of the teaching.