----Green Bar Bill had to come out of retirement in order to save scouting from the 1970s-----
In my troop, Improved Scouting really didn't affect us very much, other than everyone went out and bought a book that we didn't bother using.
AFAICT, our entire program stayed about the same as it had been prior to 1972. For example, I'm pretty sure that the merit badges I earned included all of the pre-1972 required merit badges, and this was true of almost everyone that I knew.
The only difference was that we occasionally had to stop and make sure that we had finished the advancement requirements. Generally, when we did this, there were a couple of easy things that we had to finish, but it was no big deal, because we had far exceeded the actual requirements just by our normal program.
I finished Second Class under the old requirements, and I had First Class almost finished when we were told that we were now under the new requirements. At first, there was some grumbling, but then it was basically explained to us that the remaining requirements (which, IIRC, consisted of earning a few belt loops) were so easy that it was easier just to do them than to grumble about it. So we all wound up with a bunch of things that kept falling off our belts. :-)
There was really no change for Star, Life, and Eagle. It did then became possible to skip a few merit badges such as swimming, lifesaving, and camping. However, I'm not aware of anyone who actually did that. I was probably tempted to skip lifesaving, because that was the hardest one for me, but I went ahead and got it, because that was just the thing to do in my troop. (IIRC, the alternate for Lifesaving was Emergency Preparedness, which I had already earned just because it was a personal interest.
Yes, the program probably would have been better if we had continued using the old handbook. But we didn't let it ruin the program for us, and most troops that I had contact with seemed to do things the same way. (Fortunately, the Field Book remained in print, and I know quite a few members of my troop had a copy, which they actually read, unlike the Handbook.)
Until recently, I would have said that _nobody_ took the new requirements seriously. However, I was recently chatting with one of the staff at our scout shop, and he said that he dropped out of scouts about that time. He said he had been in a troop for 3 years, and they hadn't gone camping yet! So unfortunately, there were a few who let the new program ruin scouting for them, and apparently nobody told that guy that there were better troops available. But fortunately, for most of us, we didn't let National get in the way of a good thing.
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- Oct 2010
- May 2008
I'm in BrentAllen's corner, and although he's disagreeing with Beavah, it's clear that they both understand teaching. Regarding Beavah's comments ... I agree that the focus needs to be on the learner, and the style needs to have some flex to it. It's the old Effective Teaching style (which I doubt most understand, and it's much more difficult to teach to a youngster). EDGE is very simple to teach to a young Scout. The notion that "teach a Scout how to tie a knot" is good enough is way off base. How does an eleven year old learn how to teach? You, as leaders, have now been given a simple tool to teach them how to teach. What a great tool for a kid to have in his leadership arsenal. Prior to the dreaded EDGE requirements, we didn't teach them how to teach. Now we do. What's the problem? Professional teachers spend a lot of time learning techniques for effective teaching. We now have a simple tool to help our young Scouts learn how to teach.
Can you think of a better and simpler way to teach them how to teach? Please share. EDGE is intentionally simple.
- Jan 2006
It's an accronym, people, it codifies what successful teachers have been doing for centuries. Even the Socratic method can be seen as EDGE. Ask the right questions, you'll get the desired answers (or actions).
Try teaching a Scout the Bowline without demo ing it with a piece of rope. Teach him with verbal direction, and see how that goes.
I had a public speaking coach say it this way: "first, TELL them what you're going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them".
And motivation. How do you make it DESIRABLE to learn the skill. That is not included in EDGE, but should still, I believe, be part of the process.
- Mar 2005
1) EDGE experts at the very highest national level removed the Patrol and the Patrol Leader from the Patrol Method Presentation of SM Specific Training and replaced them with Adult Association + EDGE.
2) Of all the thousands of readers of Scouter.Com and Scouts-L, only two Wood Badge Staffers have ever indicated that there is anything wrong with removing the Patrol and the Patrol Leader from the Patrol Method.
So all we can prove objectively about EDGE is that it is associated with gross incompetency and/or outright malice toward the Patrol Method.
Take you pick.
Yours at 300 feet,
Let's sound off, #1's! Sorry BPT - but your gauntlet is irresistable:
Prior to the dreaded EDGE requirements, we didn't teach them how to teach. ... Can you think of a better and simpler way to teach them how to teach? Please share. EDGE is intentionally simple.
"Do Show and Tell" - jblake, you're a genious!!! Market that baby now! Three verbs make it simpler. Kindergarden vocabulary. It even sounds more fun. It CAN BE TRANSLATED INTO OTHER LANGUAGES AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MESSING UP THE ACRONYM.
Or as I taught troop guides:
Have them read The Handbook,
Do what they just read in The Handbook
Help them do what they just read from The Handbook.
Have them do what they just read and saw, preferably before someone else who can sign off in the Handbook.
This is better than EDGE for two reasons
1. It is easier to remember actions than acronyms. If you teach this way, your boys will teach this way.
2. It adds one thing that EDGE does not. THE HANDBOOK. Any scholarly endeavor that's worth it's salt is referential. It gives the learner a place to go that does not depend on the teacher. (Yeah, you could say that's implyied in "explain" but every time I've seen EDGE demonstrated -- including WB 21st -- I have not seen them pick up a handbook of any sort.)
If a boy uses either of these two SUPERIOR teaching methods and can't remember EDGE, I'm signing their book!
My point is, EDGE is superfluous. Telling a boy to teach is superfluous. Instead tell him to help his patrol get ready to hike and camping. PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR TROOP don't even require a boy to invite another scout to join your troop if there's a chance the kids first meeting will be a lesson on EDGE!
Prior to the dreaded EDGE requirements, we didn't teach them how to teach. Now we do.
Surely yeh jest.
qwaze is right, eh? Show and tell usually makes more sense. Let's see, that would be DEGE.
Lots of folks do S-H-I-T. Show, Help, Inspire/Encourage, Test. Repeatedly.
I like CRAPPPO.
design Assessment - decide how you will tell when the goal has been met.
Plan your instruction - da lads always seem to skimp on the planning.
Present the instruction
Practice the skills
Observe their skills to see if they've met the goals.
That's what all good teachers have been doing for hundreds of years! CRAPPPO is the best!
If you're having trouble with planning da instruction, remember LATRINE.
Level of the learners. Yeh have to start by thinking what will work for da age group and their experience.
Acceptable Behavior. How will yeh handle interruptions and off-task behavior?
Timing. How much time will it take for an average lad to pick up enough to get started on da skill? How much time before they're bored?
Review. How much practice and review will they need to "get it"?
Inspire. What can you do to inspire 'em to work hard on this and have fun with it?
Number of people. Yeh need to adapt your lesson to da number of people you have.
Environment. Where are yeh teaching, and what can you use from that environment that will help? What will be distractions?
Yeh can make these things up all day long. Kinda fun, but has nuthin' to do with teaching.
What's hard is actually learning what good Guiding looks like, since it's different for each kid and each instructor. Many adults don't do a great job. Harder still to figure out what good Enabling looks like. What's a good "first solo" for a particular group? A good second one? Depends on the group, and the environment, and how hard da task is, and what the goals are. CReating appropriate goals or designing good Assessment is hard. Remembering CRAPPPO doesn't really help yeh figure out how to do those things.
Me personally, I would almost never teach a knot by doing Explain-Demonstrate-Guide-Enable. Never. I'd toss kids some cord and say "let's figure out how we can tie this to the dining fly grommet." It'd be more like playing with rope than anything. Or maybe, if it was somethin' like teaching a fellow a particular knot for a particular purpose, I'd start with Guiding. Or with Reading, like qwaze says.
Then it would circle. It'd be like Try - Assess - Discuss - Try Again - Discuss - Guide - Try Again - Assess - Demonstrate - Try Again - Assess - Try Again - Assess - Coach - Try Again - Good - Give harder challenge - Try - etc.
Real teachin' isn't linear da way EDGE implies. And EDGE misses all da stuff like reading and goals and assessing and adapting to the learner and da environment. It's no better than S-H-I-T and worse than CRAPPPO
I thought I was a #2, eh? Now I'm thinkin' I'm more like a 1.5
- Feb 2002
Well, whether for good or bad, it's a requirement, so my main interaction with it (as a BOR member) will be verifying that the Scouts have met the requirement. Personally, I think signaling should still be a requirement, but I don't ask the First Class candidates whether they chose Morse or semaphore.
Half a tick and we'll welcome you to the dark side, Bevah!
To be fair, our SM gave the boys EDGE instruction at the last meeting, and I think they are no worse for the wear. The 'task to learn' was folding paper airlplanes. Since that's not so far off from tarp engineering I let it slide. (To avoid ruining his hard work with my negativity, I took the parents to another room and discussed the patrol method.)
- Jul 2009
"To be fair, our SM gave the boys EDGE instruction at the last meeting, and I think they are no worse for the wear."
If Kudu's not howling about this yet, I'll start. WHAT ON EARTH is the SM doing in front of the boys during the meeting in the first place?!
- Mar 2009
I've always thought that the first two steps were backwards. How do you Explain Scoutcraft without first Demonstrating it? I'm for DEER:
Demonstrate the skill you want to teach.
Explain why you did it that way, and how the student can learn to do it that way.
Encourage the student in his efforts to do it himself.
Review and Repeat as needed.
- May 2009
Beavah, your circular thing is kinda like what I learned. I learned to teach useing an ever increasing spiral upwards. Each loop of the circle has all the explanations and demonstrations and enabling needed for the skill to be taught, but instead of a circle it is a spiral because each piece of knowledge, or skill is built on the ones before it.
- Nov 2001
My big gripe is what's the difference how the skill is taught as long as the person leaning the skill understands what is being taught? Use EDGE or LATRINE or any method you like. The key is the teaching not the method.
You need to give reference to something where the adults know that the scouts need to have some form of guiding the other scout(s) until they are able to do it for themselves. And that they know what is expected in order to get signed off on the requirement.
Other threads have shown that if the requirement is too vague the Troops that want to give the scout a free pass will do bare minimum of a 1 minute demo. The troops that want to have highly skilled scouts will wait until the scout has graduate college with a certificate in teaching.
So that they give a guideline to what is expected rather then being vague is good. But EDGE should not be the only method allowed to be used in Scouting.