The Teaching Process - Aviation Instructor

Bob, an aviation maintenance instructor, arrives thirty minutes before a scheduled class to prepare for the lesson he plans to present that day. A quick visual scan tells him the classroom has good lighting, the desks are in order, and the room presents a neat overall appearance. He places his lecture notes on the podium, checking to make sure they are all there and in the correct order. Then, he turns on the computer to ensure the components are working correctly. A quick run of his visual presentation reassures him this portion of his lecture is ready. Next, he counts the handouts he plans to distribute to the class. By now, learners are beginning to filter into the classroom. With his preparations complete, Bob is free to greet the learners, chat with them socially, or answer any questions they might have about the previous class.

Today’s class is Bob’s introductory lecture on aircraft weight and balance. Using a software program, he has created a presentation featuring examples of safety problems caused by out-of-balance aircraft. He uses these images to introduce the class to the importance of aircraft weight and balance in safe flying. Then, Bob teaches the class how to compute weight and balance for a generic aircraft. To reinforce the lecture, Bob divides the class into small groups and distributes handouts which contain sample weight and balance problems. Working as a group, the learners solve the first weight and balance problem. During this time, Bob and the learners freely discuss how to figure weight and balance for that particular aircraft. Once the problem is solved, Bob reiterates the steps used to calculate weight and balance. Now Bob assigns another problem to the learners to be solved independently in class. After each learner completes this assignment, Bob is confident they will be able to successfully complete the remaining three weight and balance problems as homework for the next class.

By using a combination of teaching methods and instructional aids, Bob achieves his instructional objective, which is for the learners to compute weight and balance. In order to present this lesson, Bob has taken the theoretical information presented in previous posts—concepts and principles pertinent to human behavior, how people learn, and effective communication—into the classroom. He has turned this knowledge into practical methodology for teaching purposes. Drawing on previously discussed theoretical knowledge, this site discusses specific recommendations on how to teach aviation learners.

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