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OldGreyEagle

If EDGE is bad/wrong/poor, How do you Teach Youth to Teac

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Still trying to figure out how to teach a skill without an explanation, demonstration, guidance and the enabling the person learning the skill to use the skill

 

Obviously there is much more going on than I comprehend

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OGE - There's not much more going on. No one ever said there's a problem teaching using explanation, demonstration, guiding and enabling. No sense trying to find a way to teach without using those things.

 

I'm not going to just keep saying the same thing over and over. Could I ask you to re-read what my last post in this thread? I tried to explain rather nicely the difference between the components of a teaching method, and the method as a whole.

 

This desire to say "Well if EDGE is bad, show me how to teach without explaining, demonstrating, guiding or enabling" is a red herring. Not even the harshest critics of EDGE have claimed that there's anything wrong with the four components that make up the EDGE acronym. The alleged problem is with the way the method as a whole has been put together.

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KC,

 

Actually, a few people here have poo-poo'ed the whole concept of EDGE repeatedly. All you need to do is go back to the original thread and read the objections. Here is just one such sample from Beavah who declared it a FAIL over and over.

 

Beavah: "A colleague in education pointed me to the Dept. of Education clearinghouse of "What Works" in education based on sound research (http://ies.ed.gov). The practice guide for teachin' techniques that they offer there doesn't seem to correspond very well to EDGE. Here's what it has for recommendations:

 

1) Space learning over time. Arrange to review key elements of content after a delay of several weeks to several months after initial presentation. EDGE: Fail. Nuthin' like that in EDGE, though it's interestin' that I've seen several scouters here write about how they introduce this kind of delay when teaching or checking for advancement.

 

2) Interleave examples with problem solving exercises. EDGE: Fail. EDGE proposes that yeh proceed linearly through the steps. First Explain, then Demonstrate, then Guide... The research says it works best if yeh interleave 'em, goin' back and forth.

 

3) Combine graphics & demonstrations with verbal descriptions. EDGE: Fail. Again, research suggests that da best practice is to demonstrate and explain together, startin' with the demonstration which draws interest.

 

4) Connect and integrate abstract ideas with concrete representations. EDGE: huh? This seems to be edu-speak for introduce the deeper concepts alongside the less abstract, concrete stuff. So introduce the deeper concept of physiological responses to injury when doin' more concrete first aid for shock. Nuthin' like that in EDGE.

 

5) Use evaluation to promote learning. a) Start with pre-questions to introduce a new topic b) Use quizzes to re-expose and reinforce key content. EDGE: Fail. EDGE has nuthin' about how to use quizzes or evaluation, let alone suggesting you start by raising questions instead of explanations. BSA Advancement: Fail. Retesting is shown by the research to improve understanding and effective learning.

 

6) Help students allocate study efficiently by assisting with evaluation and helping them learn how to judge how well they've learned. EDGE: Fail. Nothing in EDGE about helpin' students to reflect on what they know or how well they know it, and help 'em then focus on the things that need more work.

 

7) Ask deep explanatory "hard" questions. Use instructional prompts that encourage students to pose and answer "deep-level" questions on the material. EDGE: Fail. Nothing in EDGE about this. BSA Advancement: Fail. The requirements are all simple-task oriented, and fail to push scouts toward deep understanding of da material.

 

Yah, hmmm... So that's a 100% failure rate for EDGE when yeh look at what really works for teachin'. Doesn't strike me as fundamentally sound, but I'm only an amateur in da field."

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Yep, that's me! :)

 

But if yeh read closely, I don't think you'll find anywhere that I said explaining is wrong, or guiding is wrong, or demonstrating is wrong on their own.

 

What I noted in the long quote above is that EDGE, the method as a whole, was missing all of the components identified by sound research as being important to good teaching and learning. Note that's not the same as saying it didn't have any components that were sound. It's saying that the method is woefully incomplete. And that's why either a good teacher is addin' in all kinds of things not included in EDGE, or a novice (like many a lad teaching a skill at summer camp) often fails despite being trained in EDGE. It's also why even when we teach EDGE in Trainer's EDGE, we don't follow EDGE. :p

 

Da other thing someone else mentioned (packsaddle, I believe) is that it takes a lot to know how to give a good explanation to different learners. It takes even more to be able to understand what makes for an effective demonstration, and still more to understand how to be a good coach. And when? When do I skip Explanation and go right to Guiding? When do I go backwards from Guiding to Demonstrating? When is a boy or a group ready to be Enabled? So even within da few teaching methods EDGE does employ, there's really not enough to help a lad be successful with those steps. We see it in questions here from adults, eh? "How do I get a group of ADD 11-year-olds to pay attention to my explanation?" "When can I allow a patrol to hike on its own?" So if trained adults don't get it, expectin' a young scout to get it seems unlikely.

 

All those things explain why no one else uses EDGE. It's shallow and incomplete and doesn't take into account either the learner or the instructor. EDGE, as a whole, as a model or guide to instruction, fails. If yeh follow the instructions, yeh won't get a tasty cake.

 

That's not the same thing as sayin' never explain anything, or never use flour in a cake. ;)

 

Beavah

 

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What I said: Not even the harshest critics of EDGE have claimed that there's anything wrong with the four components that make up the EDGE acronym

 

What SR540Beaver said: Actually, a few people here have poo-poo'ed the whole concept of EDGE repeatedly

 

That's not the same thing at all. Beaver - you used the phrase "the whole concept of EDGE" - that's what's being disputed, not whether or not there's anything wrong with the various individual concepts that go into EDGE. That's why this whole train of thought is a red herring. No one is arguing that there's anything wrong with explain, guide, enable or demonstrate as individual discrete concepts. No one has said that an effective training method cannot contain these four individual components. There's no purpose to try to argue that these four components are good or bad, because it seems like we all agree that there's nothing wrong with them, individually.

 

The point that I'm trying to get across is simple: that an ineffective training model may happen to share some common components with an effective training model. Just like a poorly made cake may share some common ingredients with a delicious cake. I think that before this discussion can go anywhere further we need to iron out this issue - would this be something that you agree with, or not?(This message has been edited by KC9DDI)

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OGE I'm not sure how you teach a physical skill, psychomotor skill ... if you don't explain, demonstrate guide and enable.

 

It's entirely possible that to use those four, and I would consider the skill untaught.

 

1. If you don't tell a boy he must read up on the handbook as part of his teaching process, he likely won't read it.

2. If he doesn't know the skill well, he'll miss an opportunity to learn from the reference.

3. Even if he knows the skill well, if he doesn't use a reference while teaching a boy, he may omit useful parts of the explanation.

4. If the boy was taught without use of the reference, he has no idea that the teacher may have skipped something (or maybe added a juicy tidbit in).

5. The temporarily enabled boy goes off not knowing where he can look in case a disability of memory overcomes him.

 

The process repeats itself. Civilization collapses in a heap of hearsay. :(

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My point all along is that we need to keep the target audience in mind here. We are not talking about professional educator theory and methodology. We are talking about an introduction to teaching a simple skill to pre-teen boys by pre-teen boys in many cases. Nowhere does BSA say that EDGE is the end all, be all of educational training models that fit every training instance in any environment. If I were a paid corporate trainer training professionals, I'd do many of the various steps Beavah mentions. After all, I'd be getting paid big bucks by corporations to teach their associates information that in turn will enahance the corporations productivity and profit.

 

A 14 year old Life Scout sitting on a log, one on one with an 11 year old boy to teach him a bowline can easily do that with the four components of EDGE 99.9% of the time. Do we really think we need to:

 

1. Space learning over time. Arrange to review key elements of content after a delay of several weeks to several months after initial presentation.

 

2. Interleave examples with problem solving exercises.

 

3. Combine graphics & demonstrations with verbal descriptions.

 

4. Connect and integrate abstract ideas with concrete representations.

 

5. Use evaluation to promote learning. a) Start with pre-questions to introduce a new topic b) Use quizzes to re-expose and reinforce key content.

 

6. Help students allocate study efficiently by assisting with evaluation and helping them learn how to judge how well they've learned.

 

7. Ask deep explanatory "hard" questions. Use instructional prompts that encourage students to pose and answer "deep-level" questions on the material.

 

Do we really want to go there to teach one kid how to tie a knot? The 14 year old is going to look at you like your crazy when you try to get him to absorb this teaching method to teach an 11 year old to tie a knot. The 11 year old is going to tell you he just wants you to show him how to do it.

 

I'll go to my grave saying you guys are over thinking this and turning it into a huge process of standard and recognized academic theories and models. It's just a kid teaching another kid to tie a knot. I'll step out on a limb here and say that I can't think of another valid or needed way to teach a person how to tie a knot beyond the components of EDGE. It is a useful tool for the job at hand.

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A 14 year old Life Scout sitting on a log, one on one with an 11 year old boy to teach him a bowline can easily do that with the four components of EDGE 99.9% of the time.

 

Only if you're talkin' a signoff for once-and-done, eh?

 

If you're actually expectin' proficiency, either for the lad who is learning the skill or for the fellow who is learning how to teach a skill, then yeh need more. In fact, yeh need to do things like space learning over time (so it's reinforced and retained), connect abstract ideas with da skills (so they understand how and why and when the skills are applied, not just how to mimic 'em) and all da rest.

 

So yes, I want the lads to learn how to teach well, because they're leading their patrol and teaching other skills, and because I want 'em to be a good example to the younger fellow. And remember, a 14-year-old isn't just teaching a knot for the EDGE requirement, he's teaching outdoor skills, first aid, cooking, etc.

 

Why wouldn't we want to give that young 14-year-old lad the best techniques and advice? Why would we just give him an unsubstantiated, incomplete method? And especially, why would we require him to use an unsubstantiated, incomplete method when there are other, better techniques out there?

 

Do we still teach leeches for first aid, too? That's been done for centuries. Of course not. We teach the boys the best practices.

 

Beavah

 

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SR540Beaver - You may be right about that one particular context. However, consider that EDGE is being push as the standard training delivery model for the Scouting program - how effective will it be in preparing new Boy Scouts to work in the patrol method, to be safe and have fun camping and in the outdoors? How well will it work to prepare older Scouts for high adventure activities, that could turn dangerous without proper knowledge and preparation. How about for all of the Woodbadge, NYLT, Philmont training, and other youth and adult leader training at the district, council and national level?

 

EDGE may work to teach a simple knot once. But its surprising to be asked to devote so many resources, at a nation-wide level, to a training method whose effectiveness cannot be substantiated.

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OldGreyEagle writes:

 

the worst part of Internet Forums is going back to explain yourself when you thought you hit it out of the park

 

I agree.

 

Legend says Einstein never trusted a physicist who could not explain his most complex theory to a twelve-year-old.

 

As I may have mentioned, for the next couple years my pet project is to design a process to teach twelve-year-olds why adult things like "EDGE" don't really work. That is why I spend time in this forum: Not to convince these adults of anything, but to discover catchy phrases that describe the utter failure of Leadership Development in a way that makes it easy for boys to recognize and resist. :)

 

So far: Nada.

 

In the meantime I can only say that you forgot the important final "R" in EDGE (for "Reduce to a formula").

 

Reduction has been the final step of all Leadership Development models since 1965 when the BSA's mission switched from outdoor adventure to indoor office management formulas.

 

In the past I have tried to explain that these formulas (like Karl Marx's examination of capital) fail to recognize the difference between DESCRIPTION and PROSCRIPTION.

 

In other words, what you left out is that once you "Describe" to yourself that "The whole training program is set up for the Scoutmaster to DEMONSTRATE to the Patrol Leaders how to run their Patrol," then as a loyal BSA Trainer (who follows the official course outline), we must SKIP "the whole training program in which the Scoutmaster Demonstrates to the Patrol Leaders how to run their Patrol." Instead we "Reduce" the Patrol Method for Scoutmasters to the Proscription, "The D in EDGE means Demonstrate."

 

Likewise once you "Describe" to yourself that the Scoutmaster "GUIDES them through learning the [applied Scoutcraft] skills required," then as a BSA Trainer we must SKIP this process entirely and instead "Reduce" it to the Scoutmasters in the form of the Proscription, "The G in EDGE means Guide."

 

Once you "Describe" to yourself that "the result being the Patrol is ENABLED to do a campout on their own," as a BSA Trainer we must do away with Patrol campouts and Reduce the Patrol Method to the Proscription, "The final E in EDGE means Enable."

 

That is what all Leadership Development does, OGE. It replaces practical step by step, "how to apply Scoutcraft in a Patrol setting to have an adventure" with a current fad theory by which any generic leader can (in theory) manage the "stages" through which every generic group supposedly pass through.

 

That is why the fake "Patrol Method" presentation of Scoutmaster specific training never EVER mentions a Patrol Leader!

 

That is why Wood Badge kicked Scoutcraft out of Baden-Powell's week-long course on applied Scoutcraft.

 

And that is why you worded the title of your thread the way you did.

 

You say that Hillcourt's Patrol Leader Training course is "an excellent training program" but your subtitle "How do you Teach Youth to Teach" betrays the contrary position: As if it is humanly possible for anyone other than a Patrol Leader to teach Scoutcraft in any context other than a Patrol Hike. :)

 

If we take six months to teach each Patrol's best natural leader the applied Scoutcraft necessary to get his Patrol out on the trail, all navel-gazing thought process theory becomes trivial. Boys learn by example.

 

In Hillcourt's "Methods of Scouting," "Advancement" is a NOT a Method, it is merely a SUBSET of the "Activities Method."

 

In other words, Advancement is just stuff to do while a Patrol seeks Adventure "out on patrol."

 

The Methods of Scouting:

 

http://inquiry.net/adult/methods/index.htm

 

Hillcourt's Patrol Leader Training:

 

http://inquiry.net/patrol/green_bar/index.htm

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net

 

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Kudu - I agree somewhat with much of what you say - about the BSA's focus continually slipping away from outdoor adventure, Scoutcraft and the patrol method. I agree that this is not a good thing at all, and I would love to see the pendulum start to swing back towards a program focused more heavily on the outdoors and the patrol method. At least I think that's what you're saying - despite being older than 12 years old I often have a hard time following your posts, maybe due to heavy use of sarcasm?

 

What I don't understand is how or why such a Scouting program could not make use of quality leadership training and educator training. I don't think that leadership development and Scoutcraft are mutually exclusive, and I've always thought that one of Scouting's strong points was the opportunity to develop leadership skills within the context of a strong outdoor program. I think that a strong leader needs to also be a competant educator, and I would not at all be opposed to including training on a proven, quality training delivery method as an official part of the overall Scouting program. EDGE clearly is not that method, but that doesn't mean that a good one does not exist at all.

 

I would say that "leadership" and "management" are not the same things, and I would agree that more and more of our training programs are sliding towards teaching business-style management, rather than quality leadership training. But I would say that leadership and training are both skills that can be taught, and should be taught in the context of Scouting. I would love to see National pour some of its resources into developing a model where its leadership training material clearly enhances its outdoor program, and vice-versa.

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"OldGreyEagle writes:

 

the worst part of Internet Forums is going back to explain yourself when you thought you hit it out of the park

 

I agree."

 

That has to be the nicest thing Kudu has ever said to me, so I retire on that note, I can accept I don't have the tools to communicate what I was attempting

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KC9DDI writes:

 

I don't think that leadership development and Scoutcraft are mutually exclusive,

 

But they are "mutually exclusive, aren't they?

 

In theory Leadership Development could be introduced as a running commentary during any practical hands-on how-to course, just as OldGreyEagle did with his 4/16/2011: 7:24:44 PM EDGE annotation of Green Bar Bill's Patrol Leader Training Course.

 

What's wrong with that?

 

But whenever "Leadership Development" is introduced to any practical how-to Adventure course, Scoutcraft (and the "Real" Patrol Method) is excluded. Not just excluded, but excluded with contempt and extreme prejudice as my citations in this thread (or just about any thread) clearly demonstrate to anyone who reads them objectively.

 

Here is one that I haven't quoted in the last month. It is an account from White Stag's point of view of how they successfully kicked Scoutcraft out of Wood Badge and replaced it with leadership theory. Note also the first recorded instance of the new Wood Badge using an ad hominem attack ("He had a vested interest in what had been and resisted every change") to beat down opposition to the victory of leadership skills over Scoutcraft:

 

Some members were very resistant to the idea of changing the focus of Wood Badge from training leaders in Scoutcraft to leadership skills. Among them was Bill Hillcourt, who had been the first United States Wood Badge Course Director in 1948. Although he had officially retired on August 1, 1965, his opinion was still sought after and respected.

 

Larson later reported, "He fought us all the way... He had a vested interest in what had been and resisted every change. I just told him to settle down, everything was going to be all right." Hillcourt presented an alternative to Larson's plan to incorporate leadership into Wood Badge. Chief Scout Brunton asked Larson to look at Hillcourt's plan, and Larson reported back that it was the same stuff, just reordered and rewritten.

 

(See 1965) http://www.whitestag.org/history/history.html

 

Apparently, "settle down, everything was going to be all right" is leadership jargon for "We drove two million Boy Scouts out of the BSA, but Leadership Development was here to stay."

 

KC9DDI writes:

 

But I would say that leadership and training are both skills that can be taught, and should be taught in the context of Scouting.

 

Only if you define "Scouting" in terms that make Scoutcraft irrelevant to your goals, such as the schoolwork route to the "Aims of Scouting," or "Ethical Choices," or "Character and Leadership."

 

KC9DDI writes:

 

I would love to see National pour some of its resources into developing a model where its leadership training material clearly enhances its outdoor program, and vice-versa.

 

Maybe to address the "leadership needs" of Cub Scout leaders if we dumb Boy Scout ItOLS down to the BALOO & OWL level? :)

 

Be careful of what you wish for, KC9DDI. The tactic of EVERY new "model of leadership training" is to present the "outdoor program" as an obstacle to "inclusiveness."

 

The introduction of White Stag theory kicked Scoutcraft out of Wood Badge because the outdoor program was not "inclusive" of "urban youth."

 

White Stag also killed the Patrol Leader Training course (cited in OGE's commentary above) because a Patrol-based outdoor leadership program is not "inclusive" of the indoor leadership needs of Troop Librarians, Troop Historians, and the like.

 

The introduction of Blanchard theory kicked Scoutcraft out of Wood Badge (again) because the outdoor program was not "inclusive" of the indoor leadership needs of Den Leaders.

 

The subsequent Bruce Tuckman era has seen the CSE's media-assault on the outdoor program as not being "inclusive" of the anti-camping needs of Hispanics.

 

Yes, KC9DDI, any "reasonable" person would agree that Leadership Development and Scoutcraft are not mutually exclusive...

 

...but that's not true, is it? :)

 

Yours at 300 feet,

 

Kudu

http://kudu.net

 

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Kudu - You're missing my point. The fact that recent attempts by the BSA to integrate Scoutcraft and leadership have been at the expense of Scoutcraft does not mean that its impossible for it to be done right. You haven't said anything suggesting otherwise, only that the BSA so far has failed (which I can't argue with).

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