Re: Teaching Techniques
George Crowl (WILLIAMM@ZIAVMS.ENMU.EDU)
Tue, 15 Apr 1997 10:25:09 -0600
James Lade was concerned about the right teaching techniques for
Soapbox on! :-) The most effective procedure for Boy Scout age
boys is "Effective Teaching," which is taught in your local Wood
Badge course and in Train-the-Trainer courses. It is _not_ a
1. Set objectives. Merit badge requirements are the
objectives, in this case.
2. Discovery. Find out what the boy(s) know. Don't
reteach that. Determine what they need to learn. Provide some
motivation to help them learn. Can this skill be fun, or useful?
3. Teaching-Learning. Many different techniques can be
used. Lecture may be needed part of the time. Demonstrations
are usually good, if appropriate. Some merit badges require some
outside reading (be careful here, many boys don't read well). In
a group, some boys who know parts of the badge can teach others
who don't know it. Different boys may have different needs,
which is more easily adapted to in smaller groups than larger
4. Application. Boys (and adults too!) need to apply the
skills before they really learn them. Give them adequate time to
practice. How many Eagle Scouts have forgotten how to tie a
particular knot because they haven't used it in years? Boys need
practice, preferably over time. One of the reasons for
dissatisfaction with summer camp merit badge factories is that
the boys don't have enough application over time to "set" the
knowledge or skill. But give them all you can.
5. Evaluation. Do the boys meet the standard? Do the boys
themselves think they meet the standard? Evaluation by the boys
can lead to further growth after the merit badge is completed.
Involve as many senses in learning as you can. Most of us are
visual learners (80% ?). That means pictures, demonstrations,
etc. Add hearing (which means lecture alone isn't too good, but
it helps visual presentations). Use other senses as needed. For
instance, knot tying uses the kinesthetic sense. Now that the
information has been provided, give enough practice, recurring,
so that the skill sinks in. For those of you familiar with Saxon
math in the schools, one of his key tools is repetition of skills
introduced that year and in previous years. Obviously, you can't
linger too long for a merit badge.
If one media doesn't work too well, try another. I had a boy
write a paper on firearms safety that I could not read. Turned
out he could not read it either (he had dyslexia). We stepped
back one and punted, he talked through what he was trying to say
on the paper, and he earned the badge. He also earned Hunter
Safety by answering the questions verbally, because he could not
read the questions. He had the knowledge and the skills, but we
had to use some non-traditional ways to get there.
Hope this helps.
____'/____ George Crowl
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Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City