The way people learn to drive is evolving.
You might be expecting to sit beside a driving instructor who takes full control of your learning. An instructor who tells you exactly what to do and why you need to do it. An instructor who decides on what you’re going to learn and how long you’re going to spend learning it. An instructor who teaches you using the methods they prefer to use.
You may well pass a driving test with that approach, but there is a down side to learning in this way - you may not feel totally equipped or prepared to drive on the roads by yourself once you pass. You may ‘forget’ what to do in certain situations or you may come up to situations you have never encountered on your lessons and be forced to deal with them. This is because an instructor-led approach is a passive learning method - it removes your need to be fully aware, to make the correct choices and to be responsible for the outcome of those choices. An active learning approach is more engaging and interesting for you. It keeps you motivated and ensures you become a fully aware, safe and responsible driver.
Many of today’s instructors involve you in the learning process much more. At the Broughton School of Motoring, you’ll be actively encouraged to take more control of the direction of your learning. Your instructor will still be there to provide structure to your lessons but they will encourage you to express your thoughts on what you’d like to cover and maybe to even find out how long you would like to spend learning that skill or topic before moving on to something else.
You’ll be asked to think about situations that have developed on your lessons; to reflect upon and learn from situations, opportunities and mistakes (YES - mistakes are essential part of learning!).
A driving instructor who adopts an active learning approach will help you learn using methods which work well for you – this might include the use of visual aids, videos, demonstrations, or just more on-road practice.
If you’re encouraged to be an active participant in the learning process, you’ll be able to problem-solve more efficiently and confidently, ready for when you’ve passed your test and are out on the road on your own. ‘Real driving’ skills are an essential part of learning to drive.
To get you ready for driving solo once you’ve passed your driving test, you can expect some ‘real driving’ skills to be included on your lessons too. Your instructor will initially help you to learn the basic car controls before progressing on to help you learn some basic road skills such as turning left and right at junctions.
Once they’re mastered, you’ll work on some more complex things, such as larger roundabouts, busy town roads, faster rural roads and dual carriageways. But there are other skills that many instructors don’t typically include on driving lessons because they’re not tested as part of the driving test. Your syllabus will include:
- Going to the drive through - and being able to reach the pay window!
- Filling up with fuel - without splattering the forecourt with petrol;
- Using multi-story car parks without scraping the sharp corners;
- Driving with music on - your can choose who to listen to, promise;
- Programming sat navs and using other navigation aids.
Remember, the more situations you experience on your driving lessons, the better overall driver you will become.
It won’t take any longer to learn these skills, as many of the tasks you’ll be able to cover whilst you’re learning the skills from the driving syllabus. If there’s anything else you really want to cover, or something you don’t want to do, just let your instructor know.
They’re your lessons after all - what do you want to be prepared for on the roads after you’ve passed?
Active learning… it enhances your involvement and makes lessons more engaging and fun.
You become more responsible for learning and for your choices You will have greater confidence in your own driving and safe decision-making skills.
You’ll feel much better prepared for driving solo.
With more of an active learning style, your instructor may:
Ask you what you feel you are doing well with and what you feel you want to improve on – sometimes you may appear to be doing things well, but if you don’t feel confident or are anxious, your instructor can help you by knowing what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling.
- Ask for your input on what you want to work on – this may be something listed on the syllabus or something you feel you need to achieve, like getting onto roundabouts without panicking!
- Encourage you to learn from mistakes and challenge you to work out how to do things better next time – this is a quicker way of learning so that mistakes are not repeated as often.
If you’d prefer the traditional instructor-led way of being taught, then that’s fine. Just let us know.
They’re your lessons, you’re the customer and your instructor will work with you to find out how you learn best.
Whichever approach you decide to use, we will always be aiming to help you become the best and safest driver you possibly can be.
With thanks © Ged Wilmot & Claire Wilmot, 2018