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Advanced Training: What Do We Mean?

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Listen to the conference steering committee develop its strategy: "We simply have to offer workshops that will appeal to people who've been in the field a long time and are past the basics. Let's develop an 'advanced' track." This makes sense, but what exactly does everyone mean by "advanced"? The truth is that few people can articulate a definition or make a list of topics that everyone would acknowledge as beyond the basics. Mainly it's "we'll know it when we see it." The thesaurus in my word processing program gives me three synonym category choices for "advanced": "highly evolved," "old," and "futuristic." No wonder we're confused!

"Advanced" means different things to different people. Susan takes a look at this topic from the perspective of the learner and content. Steve looks at how an advanced topic could be structured.

Susan's Point of View....
Is it the learner or the content?

Sometimes we bypass the choice of subject to concentrate on the expertise of the learner. This is what we do when we have a prerequisite to register for a program, requiring a certain number of years of experience to participate in the sessions. Of course, there is no magic number of years. We arbitrarily draw a line of demarcation.



Steve's Point of View ...
Is it how the training is structured?

Sometimes "advanced" training is indicated by the shape or structure of the training, defined by the way in which the training is conducted or the length of time given to a particular topic or focus. This results in an equally arbitrary method of "cutting up" a topic to best match the needs of the audience.