What is it all about?
piece of paper and describe the last training session you
conducted, observed, or attended. What happened? Who did
what? What did the staff do? How about the participants?
What did they do and what kind of capabilities did they
acquire? In your description try to be as specific as you
can possibly be.
your description with my account of two training events
presented below under Program "A" and Program
"B". Reading these two programs you will find
that the topic and context of these two training events
are alike; the ways the events are conducted, however,
are very different. It is this difference which
constitutes the basis of my examination, and it is the
analysis of this difference which will help me to answer
the question stated in the title: Training: What is it
all about ?
describe the two programs based on the questions I have
asked in the introductory paragraph.
In the training area, charts are displayed with planning
slogans. As the participants arrive, they are seated and
the staff in charge explains the program of the session.
[Motto: "First tell them what you will tell
The day before, the written objectives of the session are
distributed and participants are asked to modify them to
fit their own interests and needs
night before the session, teams of 5 to 6 participants
are asked to prepare a plan for their hike which will
take place during the last day of the course. [Problem
The staff presents a skit in a humorous vein – about two
trainers who forget to plan ahead. The moral of the skit
is brought out by the staff in charge who lists reasons
why we should know how to plan. [Tell them why!]
Upon arrival at the session, participants first
individually, then in teams, are asked to list those
aspects of their training responsibility which call for
competence in planning. Teams report their lists to the
entire group and a master list is developed. [Discover
teams exchange and evaluate each other’s plans which they
prepared last night and share their findings. [Exposure
to how to evaluate planning]
The staff, using a flip chart, delivers a presentation on
steps of good planning. [Tell them!]
are asked to take notes. At the end, questions are
answered by the staff in charge.
Teams are asked to describe steps of good planning. They
review a programmed filmstrip on: "Guide to
Planning". The program requires individual and group
responses and it has built-in quizzes. It leads
participants to develop a scheme for planning, which they
compare with the one they earlier developed and resort
In support of the main presentation and to demonstrate
steps of good planning, a motion picture is shown to the
group on a planning session.
Teams now rewrite their original hike plan, exchange
plans and evaluate each other’s plans, and prepare their
revision of the plan.
evaluate the competence. gained during the session
against the stated objectives and report on their
findings to the group.
The staff highlights the teachings of the film and
questions on the film are answered by a panel of staff.
Teams prepare a set of questions for general discussion.
questions presented are answered by the participants and
by the staff.
The staff in charge presents a summary of the session.
["Tell them what you told them"]
Teams are asked to choose one aspect of the session and
prepare a summary on it and present it to the whole
The staff challenges the group to follow steps of good
planning in all their future programs. [Transfer]
Participants prepare their own planning objectives for
the next six months. Following the session, individuals
discuss their objectives with their counselors.
The notes taken by the participants during this session
will be evaluated by the staff.
The reports of the participants on the attainment of
their six-month objectives will be the basis to evaluate
the success of this program.
did the Staff do?
The staff explained the program of the session, put on a
skit on planning, and presented reasons why one should
learn to Plan. Next they delivered a lecture on good ways
of planning, demonstrated planning by presenting a film,
answered questions, and summarized the session. Finally,
they evaluated the trainees’ notebooks. [It was indeed a
busy staff !]
During the project the staff coordinated the inter-team
activities, took care of the programmed filmstrip
presentation, managed the question-answer and summary
periods, and worked with the teams as resource personnel.
[The staff really did not seem to do too much during the
this process the competencies include how to:
and give information
to know and know how to use the resources of the
and make decisions
the characteristics of member of the group
the group agreeable to members
did the Participants do?
Participants, upon arrival at the training area, were
seated. They listened to the presentations and took
notes. Twice during the two-hour session two or three
participants asked questions. [Compared to the staff, the
participants really did not do much.]
Participants studied the project objectives, modified
them to meet their own needs and planned for their hike.
Upon arrival at the session, they listed reasons for
learning how to plan, compared their lists with others,
and developed a master list. Teams exchanged and
evaluated their hike plans and developed a planning
scheme and modified it based on the filmstrip. They
revised their hike plans and evaluated each others plans,
prepared and answered questions, summarized and prepared
long-range objectives for planning. [Participants were
always acting, doing something during the project.]
capabilities did the Participants acquire ?
From their notebooks we know that they took notes during
the session, but we don’t really have any other evidence
as to what they have learned, except that they sat for
two hours, and a few of them asked some questions.
They can work with objectives, can evaluate performance
against objectives and can prepare objectives of their
own. They know why planning is needed. They can prepare
plans according to a planning guide and can evaluate
plans for correctness. They can develop long-range
planning objectives. They can also work in teams.
compare your account of a training session with the two
descriptions above. You will find that the program you
described is probably similar to one of the two. I
suspect that it will be more likely "A" then
go back to the two examples I described and examine them.
Reread example "A". What characterizes this
program ? Then read "B" and ask the same
question. What did you find out ?
share with you my findings.
A course syllabus is available which outlines the session
and which guides the performance of the staff.
Performance objectives are prepared and individualized
which clearly state what the participant will be able to
do and know at the outcome of the project. These
objectives guide the activities of both participants and
The teaching plan is developed by the staff as an
implementation of the syllabus.
It is determined what has to be learned by the
participants to enable them to perform the way described
in the objectives.
Presentations, lectures are prepared and visual aids
selected to support the teaching program.
Learning experiences will be selected which will ensure
the experience needed to master specific learning tasks.
Subject matter is presented through instruction or
Much of what is to be acquired is discovered by the
learners themselves and is learned by them as they
accomplish things during the project.
The staff conducts training sessions with the whole
The program is conducted in large and small groups or on
an individual basis in settings which are best suited for
the attainment of learning tasks.
The group of trainees sits, listens, and takes notes.
Members of the staff are actors on the instructional
scene. They control the training group and furnish
directions and information.
The individual is involved actively and intensively as an
actor on the learning stage. The staff is involved in
managing the learning environment and in setting the
stage for learning in order to facilitate the success of
The progress of the training group is evaluated by the
Progress is dependent mainly upon self-direction and self
evaluation. Participants assume responsibility for their
it up, we can say that:
In Mode "A"
when teaching is in focus, the trainer is the
actor and the trainees are the audience.
In Mode "B" when learning is
in focus, the trainee is the actor; and the trainer
becomes the manager of learning.
descriptions above present two contrasting modes: the
teaching focused, and the learning-focused training
modes. These two modes can be represented by two
Training Mode "A" can be
depicted like this:
The diagram reads:
Trainer presents subject to trainee. We have already said
that in this mode the trainer appears to be the actor on
the training scene. The environment is organized in order
to optimize his performance. Training aids are used to
enhance teaching. Trainees are the audience and are
expected to pay attention to the performance of the
staff. The size of the trainee group is usually limited
only by our capability to control the group. It has often
been remarked that if Mode "A" is realized, the
instructional performance may as accomplished even
without the presence of trainees. What I am saying simply
is that in Mode "A", the key activity is: Trainer
presents subject. (In the diagram above, the
shading of the arrow leading from the trainer to subject
indicates this point.)
Training Mode "B" on the
other hand, can be diagrammed like this:
Arrangements are made in the environment of the learner
which communicate to the learner the learning task so
that he can explore and master it. Learning tasks are
knowledge, skills, and attitudes which the learner is to
acquire in order to be able to perform in the way defined
in the objectives.
"B" the singular form "learner" is
used. It is the learner who is the actor on the scene and
arrangements are made around him in order to help him to
master his learning task. "Arrangements" as a
term stands for a lot of things, such as the selection
and organization of learning experiences by which the
learner is confronted with the learning task; the
management and motivation of the learner; the assessment
of the progress he makes; the selection of people and
other resources which take part in the arrangements;
scheduling, etc. (In an extreme form of Mode
"B" all these things can be done by the
activity in Mode "B" is: The learner
masters the learning task. (In the diagram
above, the shading of the arrow indicates this idea.)
conclusion of our discussion of the two modes, I suggest
that: Mode "A" represents the traditional
conventional training mode and this mode still prevails
in most of our training courses.
"B" on the other hand, appears to be the
emerging pattern. It is now observable in some innovative
projects. My commitment lies with this learning task
centered, "B" mode; yet while making this
commitment, I hasten to emphasize that I do not intend to
promote a conflict between learning and instruction. The
significance of instruction is not questioned here at
all. The point that is made here is that the
learning task is the nucleus around which to design
instruction. The role and function of instruction should
be viewed in its proper relationship to learning. It
should be planned for and provided for accordingly.
Instruction is a means to an end and not an end in
itself. Its function is to facilitate learning.
have considered the two modes, you have probably said to
yourself: Wait a minute I Things are rarely such
either-or, black or white, as suggested by the contrast.
Of course you might be right. Many of us may operate in a
mixed mode. I may have exaggerated the contrast, but I
wanted to make it clear that the difference between the
modes is crucial. We definitely have a choice.
makes us operate in one mode or in the other ? Why is it
difficult for some of us to move into Column B, even
though we wish to be there ? What are some of the forces
and influences which hinder this move ? There are
probably many. I’ll propose a few.
and foremost. we are influenced by our conception of the
learner. According to a still prevailing conception, the
learner’s mind is considered to be an empty container
which has to be filled with knowledge. The trainer’s job
is to present knowledge. to pour it into the mind of the
learner. The trainee is to receive and store the
information presented. In order to be able to do so, he
is expected to be attentive, to listen, and to take
notes. In this mode, the trainee is just a receiver. This
conception underlies the teaching-centered training mode
and determines much of what goes on in our training
there is a new conception which seems to be emerging now
and which becomes the basis of the learning-centered
mode. The learner is now viewed as one who is seeking new
knowledge and skill; he initiates and manipulates, rather
than just receives or is Just manipulated. Discovery and
inquiry appear to be the preferred ways of doing and
learning. As a result, learning comes into focus and it
becomes a self-generated, self-rewarding endeavor. The
trainer s role becomes more that of a stage manager,
rather than the actor on the scene. Learning is the key
act and the learner becomes the actor. Wanting to act in
Mode "B" is not enough. although it is the
first crucial step. We have learned to realize that
conducting a training event in Mode "B"
requires a much more intensive and extensive staff
preparation than our conventional way of doing training.
The staff itself has to go through specific learning
experiences in order to acquire competence to become
guides and managers of learning, rather than actors on
the instructional scene. A lack of staff involvement in
the process of self-development for the new roles in the
new mode is probably the most outstanding reason why we
cannot operate in Mode "B" I know of programs
where attempts were made to act in the new mode without,
however, proper staff preparation. The results were
are, of course, influenced by our own experiences. Most
of us grew up in the Mode "A" type
instructional environments and dreamed to cope with, and
live by, this mode. As the majority mode is still
"A", many of us find a certain security in
going along with it. It often invites criticism or even
ridicule if one acts in the "B" mode.
closing, let me return to the question I have raised in
What is it all about ?
are happy with your present ways of doing training, then,
of course, you have your own answer to this question and
you will probably keep on emulating Mode "A".
If, on the other hand, you share the dissatisfaction many
of us have about this mode and if you have at least a
feeling for Mode "B" then you might agree with
is a process with a purpose. It is a process of the
learner moving from a state wherein he cannot yet perform
as the described purpose of the training to a state when
he can demonstrate such performance. This move
is what training is about. Training is the making
of specific arrangements* in the environment of the
learner which provide him with experiences by which he
can confront and master the learning task, by which he
can be transformed to the state when he can perform as
probably the greatest challenge for us in training today
to break the conventional training mode patterned
according to the subject-centered, trainer-performer
mode. and create a fresh mode in which learning tasks
come into focus and the learner becomes the key
design of these arrangements is described in: Bela H.
Banathy, Instructional Systems, Palo
Alto, California, USA: Fearon Publishers, 1968.
Development by Design
A Report on an Experiment
last ten years an experiment in leadership development by
design has been conducted in the Monterey Bay Area
Council of the B.S.A. Over one thousand Scouts and
Scouters have taken pan in the program. Year by year the
outcome of the experiment was evaluated and its results
and findings were analyzed by the Research Service of the
Boy Scouts of America. In 1968 a national Leadership
Development Project was established with the goal of
continuing experimentation on the national scale and to
infuse leadership development by design into the program
of the B.S.A.
purpose here is to report on the main findings of the
Monterey experiment and to give an account of the present
status of the national project.
development should begin during the formative years of
youth. Still, none of the programs of public and
voluntary educational agencies of the day include any
systematic long-term leadership development. To provide
for leadership development and for the exercise of
leadership by design, therefore, can be looked upon as an
all-important challenge. But how about Scouting ? What is
being done in Scouting to develop leadership in youth ?
Surely leadership capabilities do emerge in some boys who
are in Scouting. But at a close examination we were not
able to find evidence for a deliberately designed program
for the acquisition of specific leadership competencies.
Although Scouting has a well-structured and detailed
program for the learning of skills of Scoutcraft and
woodcraft what has been lacking, and the lack of which is
increasingly in evidence, is a specific program by which
competencies needed for effective leadership (and group
membership) can be developed by design. This is the case
even though Scouting lends itself ideally to the learning
and applying of the methods and skills of leadership. It
offers a unique — and perfect — framework for
such learning: the Scout patrol.
this opportunity and recognizing the need, over ten years
ago we initiated an experimental program from which some
significant findings have emerged which may help to close
the program gap described above.
of these findings is a new concept of
leadership. As we understand it, leadership is a dynamic
interaction process of the group, the leader, the task,
and the situation in which the group moves toward its
objectives. In this move the leader has specific
functions which he often shares with others in order to
facilitate goal achievement. As a result, leadership
becomes the property of the group. Depending on their
potentials and on the needs of a particular task or
situation, members may assume leadership functions to
varying degrees. We have learned that the best solutions
to group problems and task achievement are those which
grow out of the combined resources of the group and which
make use of the potentials of all its members.
contemporary definition of leadership was intuitively
understood by Baden-Powell, who said, ‘The sum of the
whole thing amounts to this — every individual in the
patrol is made responsible, both in den and in camp, for
his definite share of the successful working of the
whole. It is the similarity between modern leadership
theory and Scouting’s specific method of operation which
makes Scouting so uniquely conducive as a framework for
leadership development for youth.
concept is that, rather than being some nebulous
characteristic which one has to be born with, leadership
can be defined as a set of competencies which can be
learned. Some eighty aspects of knowledge,
skills, and attitudes have been taken into account in our
research which have been clustered into competencies. (See above). To sum it up. an
understanding of the concepts described here has helped
us to bring into focus that the acquisition of
leadership competencies should occur by plan and design,
rather than by accident. Although leaders may
emerge – as they do today – as byproducts of group
processes, this is neither an economical nor an effective
way of developing leadership. Based on the concepts
described above, in our experimental program:
Specific competencies of
leadership—relevant to Scouting—have been identified,
b) A program was developed toward the
attainment of these competencies by design.
implementing the program, it was quickly recognized that
leadership competencies cannot be acquired in a few
training sessions or in a training course, but only as a
result of a long-range developmental process.
The understanding of this concept has led us to use the
term "development" rather than
"training." Thus, the program has been designed
in a six-year sequence offering—in a spiral
fashion—ever expanding new curricula for the
learning of predetermined capabilities. Every
program year cycle consists of three phases:
Preparatory Phase: Define the needs and input
competencies of the learner and motivate toward learning.
Intensive Learning Phase: Learn the specific
competence through intensive involvement.
Application and Evaluation Phase: Apply what has
been learned in the home troop and continuously evaluate
the experiment went on, year by year, it has been
ascertained that participants attained predetermined
capabilities, and transferred the learned skills into
their groups in and out of Scouting.
are two more important findings which need to be
mentioned here. The first is the systems approach
which has been used in developing the program. Firstly,
we identify in exact terms whatever we expect that the
learner should be able to do at the end of the training;
then we develop criteria by which we can measure whether
he attained performance objectives. Next we state
whatever has to be learned so that the learner can behave
in the way described. Thus we establish the learning
task. Now we ask the question: What do we (the training
program) have to do and to do by what means or by whom,
and when and where, in order to ensure that the learner
will hurdle the learning task ? So we design our program.
Then we pretest the design and, if it functions as
planned, we install it. The continuous testing and
evaluation of the learner and of the program will
indicate if we have to introduce changes.
second finding is a dramatic understanding that we need to
shift our attention from instruction to learning.
(See above). The new strategy has been implemented in the
experimental program in different ways. The most frequent
use of the strategy has been—what we called – the
project method. This method will be described next
Confront the learning group with a situation in which the
use of the competence to be learned is required in order
to help to realize the need for increased competence and
thus create a desire to learn.
Introduce the learning program in a workshop type of
setup where the competence is demonstrated and practiced.
the learned skill in situations similar to—or
identical with—the original
"confrontation" (See item "a." above)
so that the group can readily recognize the "new way
of doing things" and the acquisition of increased
Confront the group—unexpectedly—with novel
situations in which the competence is to be used; group
evaluates the application of the competence.
Individuals formulate operational and measurable
objectives for the application of the newly-acquired
competence in the back-home situation in and out of
concepts and findings described above became the bases
upon which specific programs have been—and are
being—designed and experimented with.
has evolved a long-term plan for the "by
design" introduction of leadership competencies into
the overcall program of Scouting. The training of
Scoutmasters was selected as the first area of national
the Design Phase of the program, using
the systems approach,
we described the tasks which comprise the
performance of the Scoutmaster;
we identified the competencies which he has to
attain in order to perform in the expected way;
we designed learning experiences which lead to
the attainment of competence;
we designed evaluation and change-by-design
program first was laboratory tested at
the Schiff Scout Reservation in New Jersey and at
Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico in 1967. Following its
revision it was field tested in five
councils during 1968. It is now undergoing a major
revision and further testing and will become
operational in 1970.
addition, pilot programs in leadership development by
design have been conducted during some of the training
events of the Inter-American Region and an experimental
application is planned for a Training the Team Course
closing let me speculate about the significance which
these experiments in leadership development might have
skills of Scoutcraft and Woodcraft, being the skills of
the hand, are of the kind which can be well—or even
best—learned on an individual basis. One person can
learn it from another who is competent in the skill. On
the other hand, competencies of leadership/ membership
are social skills and are of the nature which can be
learned only in groups. In introducing these competencies
in the Scout program by design, we provide a meaningful
content for the operation of den, patrol, and committees,
in that competencies of leadership and membership
comprise a program area which cuts across the boundaries
of Cub Scouting, Scouting, and Exploring, and may
constitute training common to all branches of Scouting.
the years we have also learned to recognize and
appreciate differences in the programs of Scouting around
the world. These differences are inherent in variations
in interest, customs, and in geography. These variations
have greatly restricted the range of training content
which can be considered universal and common to all. On
the other hand, leadership competencies are required
properties of all human groups and are not much
influenced by geography, or even by customs. Thus, training
and development in leadership may be regarded as
universal in nature, one which may have world-wide
applicability in the Movement.
Development by Bela H. Banathy, was originally
published by the Boy Scouts World Bureau, Geneva,
Switzerland, May, 1969, as World Scouting Reference
Paper, No. 1. The process of leadership by design and the
competencies of leadership outlined were incorporated
into Wood Badge and the Junior Leader Training Conference
(the called Troop Leader Development) in the early
1970’s. They remain the core of leadership training in
Boy Scouting today.
the very beginnings, the development of
leadership has been an essential part of
Historical Development of Leadership Development
in the BSAtraces that
story from the perspective of the week-long
junior training experience from the 1950’s to the
White Stag program was the source of new
directions in leadership development in the Boy
Scouts of America. The
Heritage of the White Stag dates
back to the 1933 World Jamboree, to several young
Hungarian Scouts, and to a challenge made there
by Baden-Powell to the Scouts of the world.
Banathy was one of the founders of White Stag and
the designer of the leadership development model
used in Scouting today. He first took the
challenge of the White Stag from B-P at the 4th
World Jamboree in Hungary. Bela begins the story
of his Scouting journey in Bela’s
Story: Scouting in Hungary, 1925-1937.
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