Level of Instruction
This sub skill area assesses your ability to match your Level Of Instruction to the needs of the pupil.
You have to adapt your training style to suit the pupil, you simply cannot expect the pupil to change their level of understanding to match you.
You have to find out what the pupil already knows about the particular subject, identify any gaps in their present knowledge, and then teach them the new skills that they need
In educational circles, it’s referred to as:
The Part 3 test is divided into two phases of 30 minutes each. For each phase, the SE will pretend to be two completely different people with different levels of skill.
Your task is to adapt your instruction accordingly. But stay flexible . . . don’t pigeon hole the SE before the start of the test. Assume nothing. Listen very carefully to what you are told and pitch your instruction accordingly.
As a very basic rule of thumb,
On Phase 1 you will initially fully instruct, then gradually reduce instruction as you assess progress
On Phase 2 you will assess, then instruct if necessary, then assess again
Many trainees have trouble understanding the differences between Phase 1 and Phase 2, so I hope this helps a little.
The big problem is usually with Phase 2, whereby trainees panic about over instruction. . .
Phase 2 is very straightforward.
In fact, Phase 1 is very straightforward as well.
How can I put this . . . there is no such thing as a Phase 1 learner and there is no such thing as Phase 2 learner. There are only learners at different stages of development. Be flexible, and be wary of trying to categorise or fit people into ‘pigeon holes’.
‘Phase 1’ and ‘Phase 2’ are just reference phrases dreamed up by the DVSA for the SE’s to categorise the PST’s, and to test your ability to deal with pupils at differing pre set levels of competence.
At Phase 1, your learner will have relatively little experience of the PST subject, and you will have to teach it. At Phase 2, your learner will be at or around test standard, so your job will be to assess and remedy any faults that you find.
The differences between the two phases are simply the differing levels of skill and experience of the pupil. They are still a learner on a lesson.
However, never forget that at Phase 1 and Phase 2 the SE will be role playing two completely different people with completely different attitudes, faults and levels of skill.
Do not make the classic mistake of assuming that problems dealt with in Phase 1 will not reappear in Phase 2.
Part 3 is a lesson. Nothing else. Your job is to teach . . . so think about it . . . how will you approach the two ‘phases’ differently?
Every well structured lesson, whether it be driving, golf, making fairy cakes or map reading, runs along similar lines.
Your task as a teacher is to establish in the Briefing what the pupil already knows which will assist them, then teach them what they need to know for the subject you are teaching, then help them to get some practice to put it all together.
You continually assess their learning by watching them, prompting if necessary, but gradually reducing your Level Of Instruction until the learner can do it all for themselves.
And it’s exactly the same for Phase 1 or Phase 2. The only difference is the Level Of Instruction you give on the Briefing, and the Level Of Instruction you give on the move.
No learner is an empty box. They all have some knowledge that you can build on in whatever lesson you have to teach.
Think about this . . . Phase 1 Emerging At T Junctions . . . the learner will probably never have emerged from a junction before. In this case, your Level Of Instruction will be quite high.
Your pupil will already have some, even if limited, driving experience . . . so use it! Ask them if they’ve covered Approaching Junctions junctions? If so, no need to teach them MS-PSL, no need for lengthy explanations about which mirrors etc etc. Ask them questions about it to make sure that they understand it, then simply teach them the rest of what they need to know to emerge.
In effect, you’re building on previous knowledge.
Then, off you go in the car . . . FULLY talk them through one or two emerges (they’ve never done it before) then gradually reduce the Level Of Instruction and prompt them to do it by themselves.
All the time, you’re assessing them to make sure that they do it right. You fix any faults, give encouragement etc etc.
So, you start off instructing a lot, and gradually reduce the instruction and increase the ‘assessing’ as you reduce your level of help.
Phase 1 over and done . . .
Now, what about Phase 2?
It’s exactly the same!
You start the lesson with a Briefing where you establish what your learners level of knowledge is on the subject at hand – in our case, Emerging At T Junctions. At Phase 2, they should know everything, because all the pre set lessons are usually pitched at around driving test standard.
So, no need for lengthy explanations. Just make sure they have knowledge of the subject with Q and A, then get the car moving . . .
Think about how you’ll approach it now . . . will you instruct? or will you assess?
Well, your learner will have told you that they’ve emerged before, so all you have to do is to assess them on their ability to spot any weak areas.
You have to keep the car safe . . safety overrides everything . . . but there’s no need to teach them through every emerge they come to.
If you do that, how on earth will you know what skill level your learner (SE) truly has?
So, keep the Level Of Instruction down and watch carefully.
You’ll soon spot the weaknesses in their technique. You can then pull them up and give them the good news that you can help them sort out the problem . . . discuss the issues with them . . . teach them if necessary, if the problem is a lack of knowledge in any area . . . then get under way again.
Now . . . do not fall into the trap of worrying about this ‘under instruction’ ‘over instruction’, whereby some trainers tell you not to instruct at all on Phase 2. Another one of our myths.
You are a driving instructor, not a driving passenger.
So, if necessary, you’ll help your Phase 2 learner through the very next emerge, by prompting or full talk through (unusual) . . . it depends on the circumstances . . . then you’ll reduce your instruction as they progress.
You’ll reduce your instruction very quickly indeed, and revert to assessing them. If you’ve done your job, the SE will now emerge very well, or with just a little prompting.
The point is . . . instruct where necessary, assess when they should be able to do it. If you continue to instruct, you may be marked down for Level Of Instruction.
Clearly, you’ll need to sort out any other issues that arise, but in a nutshell, that’s all there is to it . . .
Phase 2 over and done with . . .
The point is that there is no real difference between Phase 1 and Phase 2. All you do is vary your Level Of Instruction and level of assessing accordingly. There are no ‘phases’, only lessons and learners.
The whole point to teaching anything, is that you want your learners to eventually be able to do everything for themselves. If you continually talk them through everything, without letting them make decisions, you are over instructing. Conversely, if you recognise that your learner is having difficulty at any Phase 1 or Phase 2 subject, and you do nothing to help, you are under instructing.
At the beginning of a driving course, your Level Of Instruction is very high and your level of assessing is low.
At the end of a driving course (test standard) your Level Of Instruction should be very low (in fact, it should be zero), and your level of assessing should be high.
Most learners are somewhere between these extremes, and you vary your Level Of Instruction and level of assessing accordingly.
The above graph is simply to give you an idea, visually, of what I mean. In the real world, no one’s progress will be based on exact straight lines like these, but I’m sure that you get the idea.
Dead simple. No Phase 1. No Phase 2. Just a lesson.
Even the pre set tests are all the same . . . there aren’t 10 pre set tests . . . only 1, so long as you know the subject. Because in reality, you’re being marked on exactly the same things for each of them – your ability to teach using the Core Competencies and instructional techniques. Now, there’s a controversial view of Part 3!
part 2 (if not, why not??), then the pre set tests are not difficult to comprehend, because all they are is a lesson.
Part 3 is all about teaching, and very, very little to do with driving. Your training for Part 3 should be just that . . . preparing you to teach, yet so many people end up having to learn how to do a move off, how to Turn In The Road etc. etc. They cling to the Briefings as being the only tangible thing that they can put their hands on.
But Part 3 is all about teaching, and your skills as a teacher.
The point is that Phase 2 is just a lesson . . . like any other