The skill team approach lends itself to the dual goals of instructing Scouts and training instructors.
As an example here is an application of the method in familiarizing Scouts with ten native plants for the First Class requirement #6:
First gather and identify ten plant samples (leaves, flowers, seeds, etc). Select a group of Scouts (in this example they are First Class or above) to serve as instructors. Each instructor learns one, two or three of the samples according to the number of instructors and samples.
Once the instructors are throughly conversant with the samples they share the responsibility of instructing as a team. In this example the troop goes on a short hike where each instructor, in turn, points out the plants they have learned to identify.
After the hike any one of several methods can be employed so individual Scouts can satisfy the requirement:
- The samples are displayed (each assigned a numbered tag) and scouts write the name of each numbered sample on a list. Those who successfully identify ten samples have met the requirement.
- Scouts retrace the hike accompanied by a Scout or leader and point out the plants that they have learned to identify.
- The samples are displayed along with separate cards that identify them by name. The cards and samples are then separated and Scouts must match the proper card to its corresponding sample.
There are many advantages to team instructing-
- Listening to several instructors rather than one lends variety to the session and aids in retention of the material.
- Instructional Teams can get up to speed quickly because they are each responsible for a part of the information instead of the whole.
- Repetition of the information as the instructors are being trained and when they are instructing results in the whole team learning all of the information.
- Instructors learn from each other as the session unfolds. Instructors with strong skills will naturally assist their less-skilled team mates.
- Instructing as a team fosters confidence and challenges each member to improve their instructional skills.
The Skill Team method can be applied to many instructional situations in Scouting with a minimum of notice and preparation.
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