From education to employment

In Conversation with Martin Murray

Further Education is growing. More and more people both rely on it for their educationa and training, and for their employment as trainers, instructors, administrators. With this series, Further Education Talks Back, we hope to give the thoughts and opinions of the people actually working on the front line of Further Education the attention they deserve.

Having recently featured in the local press for his sterling work in Further Education and his programme “Computing for the Terrified”, a course enjoyed by members of the local community in the comfort of their own homes covering a wide range of ages, FE News decided to contact Martin Murray and find out more about one of the FE educators pushing back the boundaries.

Q. “How did you come to be involved in Adult Education?”

Martin: “I worked for BT for 33 years, and for part of that time I trained users in IT. During that time I also studied for an Open University Degree, and subsequently a CGLI certificate in “Teacher Training in Adult Further Education”. I taught part-time for the college, via Protocol Professional, two evenings per week, then, after “retiring” from BT, my second career began when I became a member of staff within the Outreach team”.

Q. “How does the format of your class affect the teaching style ““ what did you have to do differently (if you did) to help bring the class along?”

Martin: “The average age of the class is 80, the oldest student is 95. To make myself heard by everyone I use a microphone and speaker, and of course continual re-enforcement of material is important.”

Q. “Do you find it challenging to bring IT to a new audience, so to speak?”

Martin: “It is always challenging bringing IT to a new audience, however the groups enthusiasm is very infectious.”

Q. “In your experience, are there any set rules as to what different age groups find easier or more challenging?”

Martin: “In mature people confidence requires to be encouraged. Retention of information can also be difficult in a group like this. Memory lapses are referred to as “senior moments” by the students.”

Q. “Given your class, is there any comment you would like to make about Adult Learning and its importance in Adult Learning Week?”

Martin: “This class has amazed me with it’s enthusiasm for the subject, which proves that people are “never too old to learn”.

We would like to thank Aberdeen City College, Rhonda Fraser, the Principal and of course Mr. Murray for their co-operation in this story.

Jethro Marsh

Read more Further Education opinions in the FE Blog

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