Instructional methods for Scouts means guiding them to discover skills or knowledge on their own. Keeping with our example of tote’n chip skills here is an example of a guided discovery-
The instructor has all of the gear required to practice the skills associated with safely handling and maintaining a pocket knife. When the scouts arrive he begins asking questions;
What are the different things I have in front of me on this table?
How are they used?
Where can you find out how they are used?
Why is it important that we learn to use these tools correctly?
The instructor guides the scouts through a process of discovery as they teach the skills to themselves.
In answer to the question ‘Where can you find out how they are used?’ someone is sure to mention the Scout handbook. Then another line of discovery is pursued;
What part of the Scout handbook?
Can you find the right section in the index?
Who will read the first paragraph in about sharpening out loud?
As you can readily see this method embraces the principal that Scouts learn best when they are in control of the process, their natural inquisitiveness is inspired and that they are challenged to work things out for themselves.
Predictably if the scouts approached this situation to be met with a lecture/demonstration they may become impatient and distracted rather than engaged and interested.
Here is a “cheat sheet” of questions for instructors using the guided discovery method; (with thanks to Richard Paul,
- What do you mean by ______?
- How does ____ relate to ____?
- Could you put that another way?
- Let me see if I understand you; do you mean _____ or _____?
- Could you give me an example?
- Would this be an example: ____?
- Could you explain that further?
- Could you expand upon that?
- What are you assuming?
- You seem to be assuming ____. Do I understand you correctly?
- Is it always the case?
Probing for reason or evidence;
- What would be an example?
- How do you know?
- Why do you think that is true?
- Do you have any evidence for that?
- What difference does that make?
- What are your reasons for saying that?
- What other information do we need?
- Why did you say that?
- What led you to that belief?
- How does that apply to this case?
- How could we find out whether that is true?
Probing for possible results:
- But if that happened, what else would happen as a result? Why?
- What effect would that have?
- Would that necessarily happen or only probably happen?
- What is an alternative?
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