Before reading this post...your understanding will be enhanced by going to the BLOG posted in December of last year (2012) and reading the answer to the most common question we get: "How many lessons does it take to learn to drive?"
The answer given was: "As many as it takes". We know that we all learn at a pace which is comfortable for each of us and that we have programmed into our brains during our formal schooling as well as our informal and independent "social" interaction with others. We CAN change this - but most of us would not be comfortable doing this type of reinvention of ourselves. Most of us like ourselves as we are. 

Now...think back to your own experiences in a formal school setting - either public OR private. Formal schooling is regimented and controlled. Students are grouped by a "graded" system and all of the students move along in their groups or "forms" at about the same pace. All of the students who manage to make it through the system will graduate at the same time.

This would work well if we were all ROBOTS...if we were all the SAME in intelligence and ability. But..We are NOT the same. We are all very different and individual. The strength of one student may be a weakness in another student - who, in turn, has a strength that the first student does not have. Well...this is US: the Human Race. We all learn differently - because we are ALL different.
At the Milford Driving School we have chosen to have our classroom training use the OPEN CLASSROOM approach to training.
In this method we assume that the students are going to be in a situation where there are MANY different types of students sharing the same learning environment. Some will work and learn FASTER than others...and some will work SLOWER than others. Neither of these learning "styles" is either better or worse than the other. Both are "equal". The important question would be: what is the final much does the student know and understand and can they apply it in the real world of DRIVING? No other question is as important as this. No one gains by having students who wish to work faster slow down to the speed of the slowest student in the class - or by having a student who is more comfortable working at a leisurely pace try to keep up with a faster student. Again - FASTER or SLOWER is neither good or bad: both are equal

When I was a member of a running club, back in the 1980's, we would all gather together and start our Saturday run at the same time. Some of us were slower than others (ME), and some of us went for a longer distance than others. So - we divides into groups during the first few hundred meters...we selected a group that was consistent with our current abilities and other runners with whom we would be comfortable during our time on the road. I learned "the hard way", once, when I joined a much faster group - a group whose abilities were more advanced than my own. I forced myself to stay at their pace and almost completely exhausted myself over a distance I was not comfortable running! I never did this again! 
LEARNING is no different. We allow students to decide how quickly they wish to make progress. We allow them to decide to work alone or in a pair or in a small group. It does not really matter HOW they get to the goal of being a COLLISION FREE DRIVER - as long as they eventually get there. That's OUR goal!

This is why the OPEN CLASSROOM works so well when the students sitting in the same room are working differently. Each student is able to choose the way they wish to approach the work and can set the pace. The learning as well as the retention is enhanced. 
This solves another problem too: attention to the instruction. SOME of our classroom work is "formal". That is, ALL of the students go through the lesson plan at the same time and at the same pace - and mostly this is a "lecture" type of class. This is what school students, age 16 or 17, are exposed to during most of their High School classes. However, we all learned (when we were in school ourselves) how to "tune out" or "daydream" through the formal lectures...while still appearing to be attentive to the teacher. Consequently, we try to keep direct "lecture" instruction to a minimum, and let the students set the pace and level of attention that they need - while monitoring the entire process. 
Also...students do not perform at the same level day to day. So, some days a student can be less productive without hindering another student working in the same environment. We see this uneven level of effort and result on a daily basis. This is normal for all students. Once again...the bottom line is: what did the student get out of the process that they can use to turn themselves into a COLLISION FREE DRIVER?
We have used this method for years and have found it to work for most students and to work well.


    Author: Frank J. Jordan

    I got into the safety training business by riding a horse named SERENDIPITY ! I thought I would dismount after a short ride - but that didn't happen. I'm still riding. Some of the things I've learned along the ride I will post here. Enjoy.


    November 2013
    January 2013
    December 2012