In my last article I looked at the word ‘training’ and what it would be mean if translated directly, and I jokingly reminded ourselves that we 'train' animals. Now, I want to look at the word ‘Instruction’ . We have instruction manuals that help us follow a set pattern in how to put things together, and if you have ever had the joy of putting together a piece of flat pack furniture, you will quickly recognise that instruction alone is not always sufficient to be able to succeed.
We do, however, often need to use instruction in safety critical environments where mistakes could lead to serious consequences. The problem that we have is our clients will need to be fully independent once they have passed the driving test and, even though our 'instruction' will help them stay safe immediately, it will be down to their ability to generalise and interpret this 'instruction' in new situations that will lead them to be able to make safe decisions for themselves. So, even though instruction has a part in learning to drive, again, like training, it will not be sufficient on its own to create a thinking driver that takes responsibility for their actions.
'Instruction' is a fundamental skill an Approved Driving Instructor must have in order to manage the risk. It helps the client develop skill in specific safety critical situations and will encourage their ability to adapt their leaning to new situations. However, 'instruction' is still not sufficient on its own to enable someone to adopt 'safe driving for life'.
Your job as a driving instructor is not just to transfer information but to influence the way your learners act and think behind the wheel of a vehicle. This is why training and instruction are not sufficient techniques on their own.
In my next email I will look at our role as educators.