Over the last six months I presented at two national conferences on the topic of Pedagogy in Adventure Education. (You can find the slides for my ACCT presentation at the FUNdoing Resources page - look for "ACCT 2014 - The Pedagogy of Challenge Course Practitioner Training".) It has been a recent goal of mine to add pedagogy-related topics to my blog (first one here) in order to continue the thinking and practice of how we use "activities for educating and instructing" (pedagogy) adventure education practitioners (my interest being mainly challenge course practitioners - but a good pedagogy can cross many areas of education).
The other day I received an email from my friend and challenge course trainer DeAnna Pickett (DeAnna was a participant and thought generater at my ACCT 2014 presentation). She was generous enough to share with us some of her pedagogical practices used at a recent refresher training.
Hi Chris- You asked for some of my Pedagogy ideas: So here is a successful one that just happened:
I was just at a site that I was doing a one day 'refresher' training and the next day was a certification test for a zip line tour. The staff had all been trained in-house on their technical skills but I knew they wouldn't be able to pass the written knowledge portion of test. The staff had a mix of skill level as well as a mix of time actually working. Some staff had been there for a very long time while others had only been there a few months and hadn't worked with guests yet. I was essential charged to get all 16 staff on the same page and ready to pass their practical and written test the next day. So I decided that afternoon training was going to be "Buddy Teaching". I had the group line up in order of how much 'time on the course' they had (from least to most) and then I folded the line in half. So the most experienced person was partnered with the least experienced person. I then had them work as partners. The first partner team practiced sending everyone on the first line. Once everyone went through they became the last partner team in the group). The second partner team received everyone. (It was a ground-to-ground tour). I then had the third partner team walk up the trail a little bit and teach everyone a bit of information that I wrote out on a card that would be necessary for them to know for the test. (A little bit of information that only took two minutes to share). It wasn't the answer to the test but information that they needed to have. So we essentially leap frogged through the course and at each station they were teaching, being taught something or practicing a technical skill set. By the end of the tour everyone had practiced sending, receiving and giving and getting information. I got a lot of positive feedback from the trainee's that it was one of the best trainings they experience and they really enjoyed the method. (Funny thing is I didn't really do any of the training...I just facilitated them doing the training.)
I have also been incorporate Bloom's taxonomy [ideas from the ACCT 2014 presentation - see the slides] in my trainings and worked to move up to the higher levels of understanding in the later parts of the training (specifically the last two days). I find that the first two days of training I am just working in the knowledge and remembering realm.
THANKS DeAnna!! I love it!
Other pedagogical ideas out there?? Please share them with us in the comments below. Or send me an email and I'll give you your own "posting!"
All the best,
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an internationally known author, speaker, and trainer in the area of adventure-based activity programming and its relation to community and pro-social behavior development.
This blog is a space for hands-on programable fun - energetic activities and ideas that can be used as a means to bring people together; activities and ideas we as educators can add to our social development curriculums.