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From: Footsteps 22

Different approaches to training and facilitation

We can all remember times when we were taught skills. Sometimes a difficult skill was made easy with clear training, and has remained with us ever since. At other times training was confused; an easy skill was made difficult and we still cannot do that skill.

What is the difference between good and bad training? Sharing a skill is itself, a skill that can be learnt. Thinking about the following points may help you become a better trainer.

Know who you are instructing

Take time to consider who the learners are. Their background will greatly affect the style, manner and content of instruction.

The learners’…

…will affect the trainer’s…

Set your objectives

Too much training is based on what the trainer wants to teach, rather than what the learner needs and wants to learn. Skill sharing needs to be learner-centred rather than trainer centred. So an objective needs to start with a phrase like, ‘By the end of this instruction, the learner will be able to…’

A good objective answers the questions…

Many objectives are too vague. At the end of the instruction it is difficult to tell whether the objective has been achieved or not. A good objective is clear and measurable.

All instruction must be completed in a limited time, so it is important that objectives are realistic, both in terms of what the learner can achieve, and in terms of the time available.

Identify learning stages and key points

All but the simplest skills can be divided into learning stages. The learner needs to be able to do each stage before moving to the next. At each stage there will be key points to emphasize:

Keep the number of key points to a minimum. Don’t make the skill more difficult than it is!

Preparing your presentation

It is useful to write a Skills Training Plan, perhaps similar to the following the example presentation below.

Example presentation: making a temporary halter 

 

Skills Training Plan for 'Making a temporary halter'

Skills Training Plan

Preparation

Skill

Making a halter

Objective

 

 


Learner

group

Trainees will learn to tie a temporary halter for sheep, goat or calf


Bagamoyo Farmers' Group, 8 farmers expected

Where and when

Bagamoyo – Mr Ali’s farm, 4/5/95 10am-12 noon

Equipment needed

8 lengths of rope, 2 metres long, 7-10mm in diameter. 8 sheep or goats

Presentation

INTRODUCTION

Very useful for examining young animals, when vaccinating, giving treatment or when taking young animals to market

5mins

DEMONSTRATION

Demonstrate twice

30 mins

Learning stages

 

1. Choosing a rope

Key points

 

*A rope 2 metres minimum in length, and 7mm to 10 mm diameter

*The rope must not be too thin or it will rub painfully on the animal

2. Tie the end loop

Make the loop as small and as near the end as possible

3. Tie the inner loop

*The correct distance between the loops varies with the size of animal; about 120mm for a small sheep or goat; 150-180mm for large calves

4. Complete the halter

*Thread the other end of the rope through the end loop first, then through the inner loop

5. Understand the parts of the halter

*The rope between the loop knots is called the ‘fixed band’; it cannot lengthen or shorten

*The rope with which you can lead the animal is called the ‘lead rein’

6. Understand how the

halter fits

on the animal

*The ‘fixed band’ must go over the nose, not under the jaw. If it goes under the jaw breathing maybe constricted.

*From the lead rein the rope first goes under the jaw, not over the skull. The halter is then less likely to slip.

*The handler generally stands next to the left of the animal, so the ‘lead rein’ must come from the left.

Trainee Practice

Group work in pairs

70 mins

Assessment

Check each halter when completed

5mins

Conclusion

Farmers should repeat the learning stages and key points.

Remind the trainees that this halter is only for temporary use

10mins

 

Group work

1. If you are holding a group discussion on skills sharing, try this role play. Ask four participants to act out two different situations. In each, an instructor is teaching a learner how to make a pot of tea. Don’t tell the other participants about the roles being played.

Afterwards discuss the role play. Can other participants guess the roles that were being played? What were the differences between the two situations – even though both were about the same skill? How did they differ in manner, in the words used, in speed, in the assumptions made, in body language?

2. Think of a training situation that group members may face in the future; perhaps with a farmer’s group, a group of community health workers, or a group of school children. What information do they, as trainers, need to have about the learner group to help plan the training? List the information needed.

3. Discuss the following objectives. Are they good or bad? Why? Do they satisfy the points made above?

4. Ask each participant to write their own Skills Training Plan on any skill they want to share. Such skills can be on any subject – health, agriculture, forestry, building, craft work, etc. Let each person instruct another group member in this skill. After each instruction, discuss as a group both the good points and anything that could be improved.

NOTE:

The halter shown in this example is only for temporary use. After a while the knots will rub sores on the animal’s head. A person skilled at knots (splicing) could make a similar permanent halter without big knots.

A larger halter can be used on adult cattle, but the animal will need to be halter-trained from a young age.

Mike Carter works in the International Department at Bishop Burton College, Beverley, N Humberside, UK, with experience in Kenya, Papua New Guinea and Nigeria.

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