Lately there has been a shift in the style of learning that the DVSA are promoting, in line with the newly updated standards test for ADIs. Instead of expecting instructors to coach on a one-to-one basis, with rigid instructor/learner roles; where the instructor is the one expected to hold all of the knowledge and explicitly teach the pupil how to drive by offering remedy to their mistakes, a new policy called ‘Client Centered Learning’ is being implemented. This encourages instructors to advance their pupils’ learning primarily by helping them help themselves. Translated, this simply equates to refraining from always dictating exactly what they ‘should’ be doing but instead giving them more space to work it out on their own accord.
This is an arguably subtle yet significant transformation in the approach to instructing which should help do away with the outdated ‘chalkboard’ style of teaching. Studies show that learning is something which best occurs when the onus is on the subject. Hence, under the new scheme, instructors are now being encouraged to let the more inconsequential mistakes unfold naturally, rather than intervening. While this method stops learners from making mistakes which could be considered good practice in preventing the forming of bad practices, in actuality it stops them from figuring out what occurred and most importantly, why which is plainly counter-productive. The new Client Centred Learning policy should give pupils more control over their development by letting them find their own solutions to problems they encounter whilst learning to drive.
Additionally, it should help reduce the formality of instructors’ and pupils’ relationships, creating a relaxed and thus more learning-conductive environment. It is still important that they refrain from engaging in too personal a relationship by maintaining their prescribed role to a certain extent however it seems that some easing off the old-fashioned notion of an instructor will do a world of good for the whole industry. The importance of a healthy working relationship cannot be emphasized enough, since it is the primary basis for communication i.e. the transfer of information in both the instructor’s competence in giving feedback and the pupils’ ability to retain it.