use of many skills….
For a patrol hike, Mike had been made responsible for bringing the hamburger buns. He got them in plenty of time and put them in the freezer to keep them fresh for Saturday. When the patrol reached its destination on the big day, everybody began pulling out their part of the patrol’s lunch. It wasn’t until Mike reached for the hamburger buns that he remembered that they were still home in the freezer! And there was just no way to get back or to get some substitutes.
At the time it wasn’t a laughing matter, but by the next meeting of the troop, Mike and his patrol leader Tom were having a good laugh as they told the story to Carl, the senior patrol leader.
"What’d you learn from that?" Carl asked them.
"Not to forget the hamburger buns!" was Mike’s instant reply.
"Sure," laughed Carl, "but is that all?" He seemed to be looking straight at Tom.
"Well, I guess it was my fault — I didn’t check up on Mike. He agreed to bring the buns, and I let it go at that."
Carl pressed a little further. "How will you handle things like this another time?"
"Well, I guess I’d better keep a list of responsibilities and review them with those on the list before we get going," said Tom.
"OK, that’s good," responded Carl. "Now how about you, Mike? What did you learn?"
"Well, I made a list of what I was to bring. But Saturday morning I didn’t read it over carefully. And I should have checked off the items when I had them packed."
Thus, a simple matter of forgotten buns was made into a real learning experience. Let’s review just what Carl did to bring this about.
First, he noticed that the two boys (and the whole patrol, for that matter) had had what can be called a "discovery." They had been in the middle of something and they knew about it firsthand.
Second, he had Tom and Mike review the experience and helped them to realize that they had learned something that could be applied to other situations. They hadn’t learned that hamburgers need rolls but about how to get things done.
Third, he had them think about how they would apply what they had learned next time.
The final step would be to evaluate the learning. That could only happen next time. If Mike was more careful about reading his checklist or if Tom was more thorough about checking up on his patrol members, they would know that learning had really occurred.
We call this process "Effective Teaching." In this case it was Carl who did the teaching. He took advantage of a situation that had already happened. If he had ignored it or just had a good laugh about Mike’s forgetfulness, there might have been little or no learning.
You can use this same method to help almost anybody learn almost anything. We’ll take another example and see how you can use the method.
Suppose a camporee is coming up. There is to be a competitive event involving use of the map and compass. You think your patrol members are a little rusty on that. Here’s how you might proceed.
STEP ONE: Discovery
Provide each member of the patrol with a compass and have each one orient a map and plot a course that you specify. Watch how they do. Some may do well. Others will get off to a bad start and fumble. Out of this, you will know just who needs to learn what. But equally important is that the learner "discovers" his shortcomings or unforgotten skills.
STEP TWO: Teaching-Learning
You or someone you share leadership with gives instructions and information about the map and compass task. Let them practice each step as you describe or demonstrate it. When you feel certain the learners know the skills, you allow them to progress to the next phase. Some learners may reach this step faster than others — that’s just fine — let them progress at their own speed.
STEP THREE: Application
Have the learners do a series of problems with map and compass. If they are successful, they go on. If not, you take them back through some of the teaching-learning process until they can be successful.
STEP FOUR: Evaluation
This process occurs every step of the way, but it’s important to review all four steps when you are through. As learners are called on to perform, you must decide whether they are performing acceptably. Have each learner express himself about what he thinks he has learned. Ask questions, such as:
"Do you feel you know this skill well enough to do it again next week?"
"Could you help one of the others here who is having trouble learning the skill?"
"Could you teach someone else to do it?"