Thursday, December 22, 2011

Preparing for preparing to teach in the life-long learning sector

Another season, another department shuffle, another new manager. It's been a turbulent couple of years here at EP Towers. My job has morphed and changed and for several months I haven't had a clear job title, much less a job description. However, there's a very positive flow under way now that I am interested to be a part of.

For the first time since I've been here there is to be a genuine focus on teaching and learning in our short course training provision - the most obvious manifestation of which is a decision to require our trainers in future to hold  the creatively accronymed PTTLS (aka "petals"), CTTLS ("kettles") and DTTLS ("dettols"), more formally: "Preparing to..", "Certificate in..." and "Diploma in..." Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector.

This suit of courses is obligatory for people wishing to teach national qualifications for which there may be funding - for example "professional" courses in colleges or NVQs. Coming from the corporate e-learning sector, which to my experience tends to think of itself as something apart from (possibly even "anti-") mainstream "education" in many respects, I've never really looked at these qualifications very closely. I've assumed that they will be focused on classroom delivery. Given that I am largely in a training design-not-delivery role - and some time spent "delivering" training is required - I've not given it a second thought.

However, as part of the new way of thinking the company is running this course for some colleagues and out of curiosity I've gotten myself on the attendee list. The course can be run in all manners of ways - since this was set up by a classroom fixated colleague it's not going to be making much (any?) use of online tools, and helpfully crams the learning components in to two info-dump sessions since this is the cheaper way of doing it. The first is this week, three days in the empty classrooms at work.

I do have some reservations. A former colleague completed it a couple of years ago. Looking at the work she did, it looked very similar to the CIPD's Certificate in Training Practice, which I did as a new trainer back in 2003 - which is to say it was full of the sorts of things that Will Thalheimer rails against: learning styles, that what we say makes up only 8% of how messages are communicated, Dale's Cone of Experience etc. But it need not be the case as this sort of detail depends on the tutor delivering the course, so I will reserve judgement until later in the week. I do intend to blog my experience as part of my reflective learning so let's see how it gets on.

If you have experience of PTTLs then I'd be interested to hear what you made of it.