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Developing self-belief in a learner driver

This video is for people who are considering joining the BIG TOM Franchise as a driving instructor. An often neglected aspect of the role of an instructor is to develop self-belief, and in this video, you will see some techniques the instructor uses to help the pupil recognise achievement.

It is very easy for a driving instructor to simply tell their pupil what to do, but by doing so, the training completely bypasses an essential element of what makes learning personal and meaningful: the thoughts and feelings of the pupil. Here you will see the instructor asking open questions of the pupil to try and tap into how the pupil feels:

about the outcomes of practice,

whether she is enjoying and benefitting from how she is learning

the risks associated with the practice

options for achieving a goal

about the decision-making that was made

Nurturing the skill of self-evaluation is valuable for a pupil as once they pass their driving test, the opportunity for further learning continues.

You will notice that there is no shortage of effort being displayed by the pupil. It is good practice for a driving instructor to monitor the perceived effort levels of pupils because it can be useful in some circumstances (certainly not with this pupil) to have an open discussion about how much effort is needed to learn and how much effort a pupil is putting into learning. There can be many reasons why effort levels fluctuate and a sign of a good working relationship is when pupil and instructor can honestly exchange what these reasons might include.

Yet despite the effort shown here by the pupil, there are examples where she seeks reassurance from the instructor that what is happening is good. Learning to drive is as much about the self-belief in one’s ability as it is about the technical know-how of driving. These two components are intertwined and can easily affect each other.  In the BIG TOM Franchise induction training, much time and effort are attributed to both aspects of instructor techniques to improve driving ability & confidence. The kind of driving instructor that this franchise seeks is one who puts the pupil at the centre of the learning environment rather than the instructor.

You will notice at the very end of this video, the pupil concludes that all that is required for her to improve is to practice. While this point might appear obvious to the viewer, it is certainly the case that it is not obvious to every pupil learning to drive. You notice the instructor immediately repeats her sentence to agree as the point is fundamentally crucial to aid learning. The BIG TOM Franchise pays a great deal of attention to how pupils can practice and reflect on learning. Our customers are provided with many opportunities to learn OUTSIDE of the driving school car, and we have found over the years that pupils who recognise and utilise those opportunities tend to create successful outcomes – but of course, you cannot make a pupil learn.

The minute by minute breakdown of the video is as follows:

0-1 minute: Pupil hazard awareness and takes ownership of practice by choosing preferred route

1: open questions

2: instructor offers example of own learning experiences and difficulties encountered – reinforcing that it is normal for a range of emotions to be felt when on a learning experience

3: recalling from memory elements of parking technique (steering), pupil risk assessment prior to practice

4:pupil decides the level of support wanted from the instructor, confidence building, keeping practice safe

5: Q&A for knowledge, the benefit of DVSA routines, pupil seeking confirmation of achieving goal to the correct standard

6:instructor offers pupil option of viewing vehicle end position outside of car, pupil spontaneously gives self-evaluation of difficulty level

7:instructor explains the benefits and process of developing self-evaluation

8.pupil seeks reassurance of what is “good”, discussion about what is not good, pupil considering options of a manoeuvre to achieve a goal of turning vehicle around

9:pupils considers options, assesses difficulty levels and pupil self-evaluation of end result

10: options for practice location offered by instructor, pupil decides based on personal preference, linking HWC with general order on the streets

11:instructor invites pupil to appreciate achievement nurturing self-belief, instructor open question of any other questions, pupil expresses like for a techniques “all I need to do now is practice”