So far in this series of short emails I have looked at how to train behaviour; using instruction to keep the car safe; and educating for the long term. Using all three of these methods ensures people learn most effectively in the way that suits them best so that they can make safe choices and decisions when they are out driving unsupervised.
Learning is all about change and we are looking to change our clients into thinking drivers, who can act responsibly on our roads by managing their feelings.
As driving instructors, we often like to give people content but the problem here is they could easily have learned this content for themselves. Content-filled lessons lead to telling and transferring information to our learners, who could have researched this for themselves in ‘The Highway Code’ or ‘Driving the Essential Skills’.
In any case, when teaching someone to drive it is not possible to cover every single incident and every piece of information in ‘The Highway Code’ by practical application.
The key to our lessons is that they should be client-centred and performance based; not test-based training that is instructor-centred and content based and results in telling and transferring of information.
If you teach your client to measure themselves against their previous performance or how they 'feel' they have performed, they will learn to think for themselves. This makes learning fun and enjoyable and will ensure they are safer when they are driving unsupervised.
In my next email I am going to explain why coaching is the only way you should conduct your lessons.