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  • Writer's pictureSteve King

The Topic Is Not The Goal!

We’ve all probably heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Similarly, it’s important to distinguish the topic from the goal.


When goal setting for your lesson, digging into the specific goal for the pupil is of huge importance.


If your pupil when asked what they would like to work on just says ‘roundabouts’ that would be a topic… and a pretty big topic at that. What would need to follow is a conversation about the various skills that are needed to negotiate a roundabout to help decide on the specific goal.


For example:


Instructor – “What do you feel it’s important for us to work on today?”

Pupil – “Can we work on roundabouts?”

Instructor – “Okay great! What specifically is it with roundabouts that needs some work?”

Pupil – “Well, I understand where I need to position for the different exits and when to signal, but I have trouble judging when to go”.


This is relatively easy example, but we all know it’s not always quite so simple. For instance, the pupil might say they want to work on when to go & positioning on roundabouts. In which case you need to discuss which of those they feel is more important. For instance, if they decide on positioning as the more important goal then as an instructor you could assist with the when to go while they work on their goal.



We Learn By Chunking Skills Down..



Breaking a main skill down into smaller, bite size chunks that encompass the whole skill set. For instance, if your pupil wants to improve on roundabouts, you could ask them to make a list of the separate smaller skills needed to negotiate a roundabout and work on these separately to prevent task overload.

The Benefits Of Bite Size Learning.


1.    Easy to manage: No single ‘chunk’ of driving should really be more than 15 minutes in length.

2.    Tailored by topic: The topic can be broken up into smaller ‘chunks’ rather trying to teach the whole.

3.    Stretch but not snap: By shorter bursts of activity the pupil will not become overwhelmed, and they will be able to focus on the goal.

Information retention: By working in short bursts the pupil will remain engaged and this allows for more information to be retained.

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