Mayo's Clinics

Aug 17, 2017, 16:28

Mayo’s Clinic: Helping Students Take Charge—the Three-Legged Conference

The value of a three-legged conversation is that you can make some statements or ask questions that prompt students to think about the topic they are raising, and you do not have to completely answer the question in one meeting.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed ways to begin a semester by making our students feel special; this month and for the rest of the fall, we will talk about ways to help them learn to take charge of their education and their lives. This month will focus on the strategy of the three legged conference.

Students Taking Charge of Themselves
One of the important goals of any teaching situation is promoting creative and critical thinking. However, we often apply it only to the subject matters that we formally teach and not very often to helping students become better industry professionals and better persons for several reasons: There is not enough time in class, these subjects are not part of the curriculum, and most of us never learned how to teach about professional and personal development.

When you stop to think about it, helping our students to build their decision-making skills is a great goal, and one that many of us in culinary and hospitality education have adopted, even if only on the edges of our teaching. After all, helping our students to become better professionals is an important part of our commitment to them and a unique aspect of culinary and hospitality education; other fields do not care so much about that aspect of their students’ lives. If you want to commit to this goal, there are several strategies; the easiest is using the three-legged conference to promote their thinking about themselves.

Mayo’s Clinic: Starting a Semester and Making It Special for Students

Following the recommendations identified by the acronym, WARM, you can inspire students to reach for ultimate success from the moment they return to or begin their training.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed honoring and celebrating differences; this month, we will talk about ways to begin a semester by making our students feel special—not always something we think about it, given all the other tasks that face us in September, the time most U.S. colleges begin the year again. There are four major strategies: welcoming, asking, reminding and mixing it up, or WARM. Now might be a good time to consider adopting one or all of them.

Welcoming people has always been a fundamental principle of hospitality. As chefs, we welcome people by feeding them or otherwise offering them food. As teachers, we think about the first class of the term, and we do it well.

This year might be a useful time to think about welcoming them back to the institution, however. As your students come back to the campus after a summer break or an internship/coop/apprentice/work experience, how do you greet them? Do you look for ways to welcome them back to school? Do you invite them to notice all the changes that have been made over the summer? Do you focus on providing each of them with a compliment? Or ask about accomplishments?  Have you reviewed the organization of your office and considered rearranging it to be more welcoming to new and returning students? These and other questions will help you think about how to welcome your new and returning students to the campus.

Mayo’s Clinic: Honoring Differences in Our Classrooms

Recognizing and respecting differences among people is characteristic of our industry, and a reality in most workplaces. In the classroom, honoring differences also creates a positive environment where everyone is welcome and feels safe and included.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed ways to promote diversity in our classrooms, a continuing challenge for many of us, especially when it involves more than just focus on different foods, in itself a great activity. This month, we will discuss honoring and celebrating differences—moving beyond recognizing diversity to making special notice of ways in which people are distinguished, one from another.

Reasons for Honoring
There are many reasons to honor individual differences, not the least of which is making the classroom a positive environment where everyone is welcome, everyone feels safe, and everyone feels included. In addition, honoring differences is characteristic of this industry, and a reality in most kitchens, restaurants and hotels. And as a way of contributing to the growth of the profession, we need to role model accepting and honoring differences.

Several Strategies
In trying to honor differences, I practice three of four different strategies: learning and using students’ correct names, remembering and mentioning particular details of their lives, publically recognizing aspects of their lives, and organizing groups that recognize the range of differences.

Mayo’s Clinic: Promoting Diversity in our Classrooms

Creating a culture that recognizes differences in a positive manner is a key element of good teaching and an important strategy for making every student feel safe and secure while encouraging learning.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed ways to encourage critical thinking by using executive summaries and abstracts. This month and next, we will focus on issues of difference and diversity. In some ways, these topics are a natural follow-up to discussions of critical thinking since teaching about differences and diversity is about changing or broadening people’s minds and actions. It also helps them improve their perceptual and assessment skills.

Differences and Diversity
Increasingly, the membership of our classrooms has changed to include a wide range of students from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of interests. The fascination of the culinary world and its prominent status, on the one hand, and the recessionary economy, on the other, has brought students into our programs who might never have been there before. In fact, the range of differences among our students can include any of the following (in alphabetical order to point out that no one difference is more important than another):

Mayo’s Clinic: Encouraging Critical Thinking with Executive Summaries and Abstracts

Asking students to prepare abstracts or executive summaries of documents they have read encourages separating an article into its relevant parts, synthesizing information from various sections, and describing it in a clear and well-organized manner.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed the value of writing annotated bibliographies as a way to encourage students to read articles—both in scholarly journals and trade publications—and other documents critically. This month, we will discuss the merits of assigning executive summaries and abstracts as ways to encourage critical thinking.

Differences between Executive Summaries and Abstracts
Although both abstracts and executive summaries provide information about the article to which they are attached, they serve very different purposes.