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Old 04-05-2009, 14:57   #16
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Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
One thing I'm hearing from responses is:

Knowing how to teach is important, but knowing what to teach is equally as important.
Absolutely spot on.

Both of the associations for which I certify have standards associated with each level. This does two things:

  1. Instructors at subsequent levels know that students have met the standard and have the skills and knowledge expected on them.
  2. Instructors know that they have a defined knowledge base and skill set to impart and they they cannot teach everyone, everything, everytime.
I would stress again the importance of getting experience between certifications. After got my basic and coastal nav certification, I was all keen to go up to the next level. My instructor gave me the some sage advise; he told me to go sailing. Seven years later, I got my intermediate, advanced and basic instructor certifications after sailing in Turkey, the PNW, and the Bahamas. During that time Ispent considerable time learning from my mistakes.

I became an instructor after a friend noticed that, as a skipper, I was always teaching my crews to sail.

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As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)
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Old 04-05-2009, 15:22   #17
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Learning is a lifetime experience, I've been sailing for 37 years, and the more I know, the more I realize how much I don't know. I think most intelligent people realize this.
I'd like to think, sailors in general, are attracted to the complexities of sailing and therefore enjoy learning. I've learned SO much, just reading this forum.

I teach a safe boating course for the State, as well. It's an 8 hour class. Clearly, no one is an accomplished boater after 8 hours of classroom training. What I try to do, in the course of the day, is to let them know all the resources that are available, (besides practice) to increase their knowledge. I do the same thing in Basic Sailing Classes. I bring my copies of the CG regs, chart number 1, Chapmans, etc. to show them where to go for infor

At the same time, I think, one of my goals as a teacher, is to try to make sure new students have fun and enjoy their 1st experience. If they get hooked as I did long ago they may find a lifetime of enjoyment. If they have a miserable day, or if I make sailing seem so complex and overwhelming they may walk away and never come back.

The School I teach for, had me observe a class before letting me teach solo.
It was blowing that day and the instructor had all the canvas flying, with the rail in the water and the boat was way over-powered. I looked at the faces of the students and none of them were having fun. They all looked like they were miserable with apprehension of capsizing. I whispered to my colleague that we should reef and once we did...there was much better mood aboard. What might be a thrilling ride for some of us, could scare the hell out of a novice.

It was a good lesson in reefing though, and for reefing at the dock!
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Old 04-05-2009, 15:43   #18
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Assessment and experience

As a mostly retired teacher I believe that final assessment is much overrated. Giving a pass on a course is more about egos than reality.

Much of what I taught in the last few years has been on the basis of outcomes based assessment. That is, the course has a syllabus, the syllabus has a set of outcomes, the teaching program is designed to achieve those outcomes, and the student (and in schools, the parents) is advised of the extent that they have achieved those outcomes. It is no longer necessary to grade pass, fail etc.

What is more important to me now is that someone taking a crew/skipper course is guided into getting onto the water and getting some experience, possibly using a logbook to back up their claims.

Even a poor outcome in a course, backed up by lots of experience, is going to give a positive result.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:48   #19
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Tempest - Your comments remind me of some of the issues related to the competence theory, specifically from going from unconscious incompetent to conscious incompetent. It' something I've been thinking a lot about lately, and your example helps. To gain competence takes time and practice. That's not going to happen quickly. However, gaining the consciousness of what one needs to achieve, so they can work on it on their own can come much more quickly and is perhaps where we as teachers should place more emphasis.
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Old 05-05-2009, 15:52   #20
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Nautical, Agreed. There's no replacement for experience. I try to make sure novices have a good time. Leave the class with a sense of some accomplishment, and a desire to gain more knowledge and give them sources of information for self study.

I start my basic sailing class off, by asking the students what their goals are, or what brought them here. The class is structured, but if I know each students goals, I can tailor some of my instruction and discussions to their stated goals.
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