Most people remember the leaps in their education. The change from elementary to middle school is a big one. Likewise there’s a significant amount of changes to follow when it’s time to enter into high school. Perhaps the biggest for many people is the transition to secondary education. The university system in particular is one of the biggest life changes that many people will experience. But there’s an interesting point to be made in all of this. What exactly makes the changes so significant? And what does it say about an adult’s educational strategies if he wants to become a pilot?
One of the things which people tend to forget about the transitions in their education is the nature of learning. How people learn changes significantly as their age increases. Early on learning is usually about repetition and rote memorization. This is significant for two reasons. The first is the relative immaturity of the student’s brains. Children are at a point in their lives where they often simply don’t have the mental resources needed for more complex subjects. Just as a child can’t be expected to build physical muscle like an adult they can’t handle mental workouts as well either.
However, in some high school classes and most university level courses something interesting happens. Teachers often try to change how the kids learn. Here one can see that students were often learning how to learn. But one should consider if this can be taken to another level for more intense learning experiences. And it’s exactly the question which has been asked about aviation training. Some experts have recently really considered whether changing learning strategies might result in better outcomes for potential pilots. The main area of investigation has been something called active learning.
Consider someone tackling the subject of Part 125 aviation training. Now, the subject of Part 125 aviation training is undeniably complex. There’s many things that need to be considered with aviation training as it is today. But one can consider just how things are structured. Aviation training itself has been moving along a similar line to the traditional graduation process for people in traditional learning environments. At the beginning it was usually centered around traditional based training standards. This is somewhat analogous to basic rote memorization.
However, in time the paradigm shifted to a focus on scenario based training. Active learning within this process is the next step forward. And some techniques are even commonly used within it. The emphasis on instructor as the primary focus is natural. But in the current model it’s clear that one needs to shift away from that as an ideal. Aviation most certainly does have a number of issues that can be handled by rote. However, few would argue against the idea of aviation as a very active endeavor. And one which people can’t really expect to always work through a system of simple variables.
Aviation often requires active participation. It means that people need to actively work with the environment and anticipate a variety of results. As those results come in they need to rapidly shuffle through even more scenarios until establishing equilibrium.
Active learning has been able to provide this to students and instructors alike. The underlying goal of establishing an active and dynamic setting appears to work with active learning in this environment. In fact, a strong case can be made that it’s a natural procession of the current model. In the past the industry moved from rote learning to situational based training. And this was in large part due to the natural progression of this system. One can expect that active learning will be worked into the system in a similar way.