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Coaching others to coach
Coaching others to coach

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1 Beyond the assumptions of adult learning

You may remember Knowles’ (1990) ideas about how adults learn from earlier in this course.

A group of smiling women in gym gear are dancing, their arms raised.
Figure 2 Adults need to understand why they are learning and how it applies to their context

The end point (in Session 2, Activity 5) arrived at the following six conclusions.

To enhance coach learning and development you need to:

  1. Clearly explain the purpose of the learning and how it will benefit coaches.
  2. Draw on the considerable and varied experiences of coaches as a rich resource for learning and recognise prior knowledge in the tone of your delivery.
  3. Enable coaches to be responsible for their own learning and provide individual autonomy where possible.
  4. Relate the content you are presenting as being applicable to their world and to current issues and challenges.
  5. Use problem solving and task-centred approaches where possible.
  6. Relate learning to personal characteristics such as self-esteem, quality of life and job satisfaction.

This list is useful in comparing your current approach to teaching. Perhaps it makes you consider how you might adjust part of your teaching practice. Two further teaching approaches should also be encouraged according to Knowles et al. (2005), which are:

  1. Adults should be involved in the planning and organisation of their learning.
  2. Learning experiences provide the basis for experimentation and making mistakes.

One of Knowles’ (1990) conclusions is that adults learn best when content is presented to them in a problem-centred way (item 5 in the above list); problem-based learning (PBL) is the first teaching approach that you explore in more detail.