Improving Classroom Training Through Facilitation   [open pdf - 282KB]

"Traditional instructional melthodology using lecture, visual aids and so forth may not be the most effective for instructing adult learners. Fire officers who instruct classes usually don't have formal training as teachers and often fail to make the materials interesting enough for adults. The problem is that classes instructed by fire officers are not well received by fire personnel which leads to diminished training results and wastes time. The purpose of this research was to find more effective instruction techniques that could be used by fire officers. The following research questions were answered: 1. Is there a need for a different instructional methodology for in-house training at Spokane Valley Fire Department? 2. Is there significant difference between teaching adults and teaching youthful learners? 3. What are the most effective techniques for instructing fire personnel at Spokane Valley Fire Department? 4. Can nonprofessional educators (fire officers) effectively use new methodology to instruct classes? The procedures used included surveying personnel to identify attitudes toward training, a literature review focusing on adult education methodology and facilitation techniques from 1980 to 1998, and comparing actual classes taught traditionally against facilitated discussions. The research found dissatisfaction with classroom training largely directed toward lay instructors. There was considerable evidence that facilitation as a teaching methodology was more acceptable to adults. With proper training and practice, that technique could be used by fire service instructors to improve training outcomes. It is recommended that this department hire professional facilitators to train and evaluate officers instructing classes until sufficient experience has been gained. The expense of this instructor training should be returned in the form of better trained personnel and improved morale."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/
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