Fundamentals of Instructing

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by labbadabba, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    Anyone else attempt to rip out their own eyes while studying for the FOI?

    Good grief this stuff is tedious.
     
  2. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Imo, you can't teach how to teach. You've either got it or you don't.
     
  3. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yes and no. Once you get deep into discussing it, you will find a lot of it is really common sense stuff.
     
  4. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Yes. When reviewing it to reinstate my CFI four years ago, and again two years ago to renew.

    OTOH, great insomnia aid!

    I don’t recall it being as bad back in the 1970’s when I first earned my CFI. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good stuff buried in there somewhere. But I’d estimate 75% is chaff.

    I think I got a lot more from Kershner’s Flight Instructor’s Flight Manual.
     
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  5. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup. Kershner's helped me tremendously. There's a new edition out, updated a bit. FOI put me be nod time.
     
  6. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Thanks! May be worth revisiting.
     
  7. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Mostly the same material, guessing 90-95%.
     
  8. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Good luck!
     
  9. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yes. Luckily a lot of the FOI is common sense and you already know most of the stuff.
     
  10. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    I always tell guys that it is just common sense stuff that you already know, assuming you’ve had a little experience interacting with other people. The FAA simply has put a name to these things and is now going to test your knowledge on them.

    A lot of guys seem to want to make fundamentals of instruction out to be harder than it is. I suspect this is simply because they really don’t want to learn it.
     
  11. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    100% agree
     
  12. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Back in the 80’s when I did my initial CFI, the FOI was a 20 or 25 question test out of a published test question bank of maybe 100 to 150 possibilities. You simply memorized the answers, aced the the thing, and then never spoke of FOI again. Nowadays, the examiners actually want you to know this stuff for your oral! :)
     
  13. Cas Hoefman

    Cas Hoefman Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I wished people would take FOI more serious!
     
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  14. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    It is an irony that the FOI itself is an example of rote learning. That was exactly my thought when I studied for it years ago. The only thing I still remember from that is the four levels of learning - like rote, understanding, something else and correlation.
     
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  15. jaybee

    jaybee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Only world renowned pilots can give basic instruction don't ya know ?
     
  16. kath

    kath Line Up and Wait

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    I'm so glad I'm already a "teacher at an accredited university" and can skip the FOI written.
    I already know that the four levels of learning are: apathy, flailing, desperation, and grade dispute.
    ...Oh wait, that's just for *my* classes. :)

    I just hope my examiner doesn't ask me too much about the FOI stuff. Because so far from reading the Aviation Instructor's Handbook, it just seems like fifteen different "word soup" ways of saying "at first, you don't know anything, but then you practice, and you get better." Together with "people are all different, so figure out what works." Together with "an instructor should treat this like it's a real job, because it is." But I've never been good with the word soup...
     
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  17. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    The FAA FOI book was a lot thinner then. They keep adding stuff to it and making it worse.
     
  18. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    No. I took that test many moons ago. I was a pretty good test taker, didn't even study, figured I could pass it. What I also didn't do was even take the time to ask around and find out what it was about. I got a 40 something or other. No biggie, I didn't follow through on becoming a CFI anyway. A couple of years ago I was thinking again about CFI. I started studying for FOI. Yeah. it's tedious, I feel your pain. Oh yeah, I didn't follow through that time either.
     
  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Not from a book you can’t.

    I’d say most of the teacher’s certificate colleges would beg to differ about whether teaching skills can be taught, however. Even FAA gives the nod to their training over FAA training.

    The other way that works is what a local club here does, they have the CFI candidates actually prepare lessons and teach in a room, at a board, in front of other CFI candidates and a few CFIs and get critiques.

    It works. It’s like putting young actors on stage. You CAN teach basic acting, improv, stage presence, etc. It takes a bit more effort for the budding actor to become GREAT at it, but you can teach how to act.

    One of our DPEs here is very good at it, but of course he’s not allowed to teach during a checkride. Anyone ever asks me how they can up their teaching game, however, I’d tell them to plan on doing their ride with someone else, and hiring him to coach them for a while.

    Common teaching errors like using imprecise words and instructions, not using common terminology or using slang, etc... all things he can easily beat out of someone in a few short sessions.

    FOI is pretty much just a “toss a 1970s textbook about adult learning at someone and hope they can apply it” approach to teaching how to teach.

    And no, that doesn’t work. It might make a decent primer on terminology of teaching for someone who’s never taught adults ever, but many of the concepts in it have been debunked already in the modern adult teaching world. Not all. And most people won’t know which are which.

    It badly needs an update, but I’d be a little scared of what a bunch of government psychologists would come up with nowadays for an updated edition.

    Plenty of commercial training professional organizations out there who know EXACTLY how to pound certain things into brains, though...

    Here’s another economic reality. If flight instruction had high paid jobs at the top end, as high paid as many other profession’s trainers, there’d be additional levels of instructor ratings well above the ones we have now, and they would be very HARD work to obtain. Not saying the current rating isn’t difficult, but they’d be orders of magnitude harder.

    The secret truth about how FAA handles the CFI rating is tied back to the economics of the overall aviation business and CFI being one of the few jobs someone can barely earn a living at while jumping through the hour hoops to move on up. FAA knows it’s a “time building” job and also knows it shouldn’t be, but what are they going to do?

    Kill the job the majority of freshly minted Commercial certificate holders go into today, to reach the required hours for ATP? No. They’ll never make it that hard.

    That’s said, they are now claiming the new CFI ACS comes out next year... that document is going to be intensely entertaining before the bug fixes are downloaded into it around 2020, judging by the utter gaffs in the Private and Commercial ACS that got fixed this year.

    (Oh look. An examiner can ask a Commercial candidate to actually stall an airplane again! Not that they ever stopped, and not that anyone taking a checkride didn’t know they never stopped. LOL.)

    What really cant be taught easily is how to motivate someone who’s not interested in learning. Luckily the vast majority of aviation students sign up willingly and aren’t locked in the classroom by law or someone’s expectation that they learn something they don’t want to. Once in a while, I have seen other instructors get that (dad’s a pilot and he’s paying and says I have to become a pilot too...) but not that often.

    Most people start off wanting to become a Pilot. In other forms of teaching, the student may not even want to be there. Deeply. Usually at least at some level aviation students want to become pilots. That kills whole chapters in formal teaching textbooks right there.

    The FOI is a punt. FAA *had* to come up with some sort of basic teaching knowledge as a reference and also as a standard to test against. It’s ain’t great, it ain’t awful. It’s just kinda bland with a number of old concepts that aren’t “state of the art” in adult learning anymore.

    There’s useful info in it, even some good applicable concepts in it, but it’s dry. It takes a good “teaching teacher” to provide examples of how the concepts apply to the real world.
     
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  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Uh, welcome back Nate. hehe
     
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  21. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    If you sat down with an experienced CFI, they could explain what the concepts are and how the concepts are applied in flight I struction and FOI would be easier for you to understand.
     
  22. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I'm sure "understanding" it isn't the complaint. It's "tedious". It's somebody else's notion of what makes a good instructor; some academic somewhere who's experienced in, well, academia rather than flight instructing. Where's the proof the same approach to teaching English, history and math is just as valid for getting the stick back in your chest before the wheels touch down? Didn't Ernest Gann learn how to stay cool when he caught fire in Africa from Captain Ross long before lighting matches under his nose while he tried to land at Allentown (or something like that) in Fate is the Hunter? Did that make Ross a bad instructor or a great one?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  23. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Ross, as described, was mostly an ass. But he used a known technique for driving things into long term memory, tie it to an emotion.

    Memory techniques really didn’t become well known in the general public until Lorayne and Lucas’ “The Memory Book”, a NYT bestseller for almost two years starting in 1974.

    But I’m pretty sure most folks intuitively knew about tying emotions to memories long before studies proved it’s a very effective method of cementing a long term memory.

    Whether that puts old Ross ahead of his time or not, I don’t know. But he got Gann’s attention and made it stick enough that Gann wrote about it.

    This also assumes the story was even real from Gann, which one also has to judge for oneself, based on his body of work. Because Gann is also trying to get a story to stick in the reader’s head. :)
     
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  24. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Shhh. You may garner the unfavorable attention of the zampolit, Comrade. They have been known to lie to protect the State. :)
     
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  25. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Right. This is where I came in, "Imo, you can't teach how to teach. You've either got it or you don't." Judging from all the complaints on this board about CFIs, despite decades of FAA indoctrination, it appears the "training" doesn't really work very well. Maybe they should go back to the fifties and just provide a list of "Dos and Don'ts", call it a day and let the market decide.
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That’d be sane, but government doesn’t operate from a position of sanity. They operate from a position of “We have to do something, even if it’s objective measurements show it to be completely inept, because regulation potato.”
     
  27. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There's good reason why teachers are exempt from taking the FOI test. They puke all over the place when they learn what the FAA thinks is proper educational theory.
     
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  28. Delta Echo

    Delta Echo Filing Flight Plan

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    This is true... can not be instructor of anything from the book... luckily (or unfortunately?)
    For teaching, you need.... sense... understand the student needs, things can affect his/her day (love drama, sickness, whatsoever), instructor needs to be a mentor too... very straight up in the air but a good friend on the ground as I have read before :D
     
  29. Kyra

    Kyra Filing Flight Plan

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    Omg yes it’s pretty tedious !!
    I took my FOI knowledge test in 2011 and i failed it. Come to find out, FAA had made some unannounced changes to the test. Well the pass rate plummeted because the test had several ambiguous questions.
    So FAA regraded all the test taken in that period of time. And i got a letter stating that i passed that test.
    That was many ages ago. I ended up not even using that knowledge test and its expired now.
     
  30. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
  31. alanbreck

    alanbreck Pre-Flight

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    Question for you folks ...
    When you are referring to studying the "fundamentals of instruction" for the purpose of pursuing the CFI rating, are you referring to FAA-H-8083-9A … Aviation Instructor’s Handbook? I cannot find any pub titled "fundamentals of instruction".
    Thanks!
     
  32. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yes
     
  33. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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  34. Delta Echo

    Delta Echo Filing Flight Plan

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    When I learnt to be a scuba diving instructor, the training itself was not so long. They were teaching the methods, ways of teaching, with all the regulations and manuals, but our instructor have said, you can not learn how to teach from a book... but if you know patience, enthusiasm, and know people, you have a chance to became a good instructor, even when you are a beginner one.
     
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