3. Be Creative, Encourage Curiosity And Listen
- Be creative, encourage curiosity and listen.
Traditionally a driving lesson could be considered to begin with a briefing, around the subject matter, delivered by the instructor to the learner, typically through a verbal explanation and including the use of visual aid. This teaching strategy is based upon numerous research studies around learning retention, such as Edgar Dales Cone of Experience (1946) and The NTL’s Pyramid of Learning (the 1960s)
These studies suggest that we generally retain around 50% of what we see and hear, as opposed to only around 20% of what we hear alone and around 30% of what we see in isolation. Whilst these findings will have elements of truth for all individuals, and are certainly helpful in suggesting ways in which, we as educators, can transfer our information more effectively, there is doubt around the validity of the research and the figures cited. As educators, we need to also consider the following questions: Are these percentages valid across all disciplines? Across all demographic groupings? Without variation? For all time?
From a CCL perspective we should consider, does this apply to all my pupils, for every subject, on every lesson, regardless of human factors such as health, mood, fatigue etc?
And should | simply repeat this model and deliver this model to all pupils even if the learner is showing no signs of it being effective for them?
For sure the simple answer here is not at all, so be creative with the way in which you give information. Creativity is the capacity to bring into being something that was not there before. New learning or a different aspect to be considered. It exists in significant ways that drive change – major innovations in science, technology or the arts, for example, and it exists in smaller ways – as when individuals find new solutions to the challenges in their life. Creativity in the learning process can give the learner a greater sense of understanding and add value to existing knowledge. Be curious about your client, seek knowledge and information about how they feel they might learn a particular topic best, what are their hobbies and interests, encourage them to be curious about their own learning. This information can help you tailor your own input of information to their learning preferences.
When giving information, if the traditional approach, or your own normal approach is not working then adapt. Consider whether allowing your pupil to take control of any visual aids might be more beneficial to them. We tend to remember more of what we do than what we see. Similarly if you’re giving a demonstration it might help some learners to switch roles and adopt the role of the teacher in the process, talking you through what you need to do before switching back in roles and teaching themselves. Research shows this generally to be one of the most effective methods for retaining information. Consider whether a briefing is necessary and for who’s benefit. If your client is highly kinesthetic in their learning, it might not benefit them at all to spend too much time being briefed. Instead involve them, be curious about what they already know, what they feel they need to know and how much time they want to spend practising. Then let them get on with it. Assess their progress and be willing to adapt again where necessary.
Essential to development also is instructor input through listening, as stated in the previous competence, the importance of active listening is cited by Titus Suciu’s (2014) paper ‘The Importance Of Creativity In Learning’:
“Active Listening” note that it increases the profitable time for teaching and learning. Here’s how:
a. Active Listening helps pupils manage and subside strong feelings.
b. Active Listening helps pupils understand they need not fear their emotions.
c. Active Listening helps pupils reach the real problem.
d. Active Listening facilitates problem-solving by pupils.
e Active Listening places responsibility on pupils.
f . Active Listening makes pupils more receptive to and willing to listen to their teachers.
g. Active Listening promotes a closer, deeper relationship between teacher and pupil.
So be confident that your input is essential to your clients learning, provide them with knowledge-based answers when necessary, especially when such information does not form part of the learning Goals. Be positive in your feedback, do not limit your input to faults, ensure that your client understands their strengths and weaknesses and sees the bigger picture of driving beyond the driving test. Be creative and understand that transferring information is not simply a one size fits all process. Adapt and listen. Your next piece of input is likely to come from the answers you receive through your clients next piece of input is likely to come from the answers you receive through your clients responses, be that the answers that they give, the way in which they give the answer or the body language that they display when responding.
The DVSA ADI 1 states:
Information given must be comprehensive when associated with a recurring weakness in the pupil’s driving. Simply telling the pupil that they have done something wrong is unlikely to help them overcome the problem. Any practical demonstration of technique must be clear and suitable. The pupil should be engaged and given the opportunity to explore their understanding of what they are being shown.
The DVSA ADI 1 outline its competence as follows:
Indications that all the elements of competence are in place could include:
- giving clear, timely and technical information, too late or too early in the accurate demonstrations or explanations
- checking to understand and, if necessary, repeating the demonstration
- finding a different way to demonstrate or explain if the pupil still does not understand
Indication of lack of competence include:
- providing inaccurate or unclear information, too late or too early in the learning process
- failing to check understanding
- failing to explore alternative ways of presenting information where the pupil does not understand the first offering