Driving is a practical skill, how do I teach it?

In this blog post, we look at the basic framework for teaching any practical skill, in our case, driving.
There are five steps:

  1. Give an overview
  2. Explain and demonstrate
  3. Let them try it
  4. Give feedback
  5. Practice makes perfect

Following this structure, you can teach someone to tie their shoes, flip an omelette or turn right at a roundabout. Let’s look at the steps in detail:
1. Give an overview
At this step, we are setting context and in particular explaining what the student will be able to do at the end of the lesson, e.g. “at the end of this lesson you will be able to use pull push steering for left and right turns”.
This step is often overlooked. Ensure the student knows that you have started teaching.
2. Explain and demonstrate
Talk the student through the skill or procedure, follow this with a full speed and a slow speed demonstration. This appeals to both visual and auditory learners.
3. Let them try it
Let the student have a controlled attempt. You may need to talk them through it.
This gives the student a feel for the experience and appeals to tactile learners.
4. Give feedback
Provide the student with useful feedback on how they went with their first attempt.
If they were great use ‘you’ statements. If they didn’t do so well, always use ‘we’ statements, “we need to practice this some more until it becomes natural”.
5. Practice makes perfect.
This is where you switch from teacher to coach. Design fun practice that increases in complexity.
90% of all tuition time should be spent on practice. It’s the only way to be good at doing something.
Next time you find yourself having to teach a practical skill, try these five steps. The results might be surprising.
The five steps to teaching a practical skill is a component of the Trent Method of teaching used by all LTrent driver trainers.

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