May 18, 2021



Graham Hooper                               4/10/2004

Aspects of Psychology and Communication as applied to Learning

This essay will look at the characteristics of effective teaching and learning and it has

been suggested that it is inefficient and ineffective to use traditional lecturing styles or

whole class teaching for most of the time, and that collaborative learning, often arranged

in groups, is a more effective way of promoting learning in the classroom.

One theory, is learning and knowledge are constructed this is called constructivism and

that there are two types cognitive constructivism and social constructivism, the latter

owes its roots to Vygotsky who sees learning as a social, collaborative and interactional

activity in which it is difficult to ‘teach’ specifically- the teacher will set up the

environment which will enable learning to occur, with intervention to provoke and

prompt that learning through scaffolding. Scaffolding is helping students to think for

themselves and take responsibility for their own learning, the teacher supports and

encourages the students to become independent learners capable of developing

and thinking for themselves. Cognitive constructivism owes itself largely to Piaget and is

concerned with thinking and learning. Some of the characteristics of cognitive

constructivism is that students construct their own knowledge and that knowledge is

uncertain, evolutionary, pragmatic and tentative it is also creative, personal and

individual and that learning is marked by the learners capacities to explore and

experiment. (page 168 Cohen et al).

It is suggested that students will be able to construct their own knowledge

rather than it being transmitted directly from the teacher, it will largely depend on the

teacher and no matter which learning strategy is initiated it is the teacher who will

nurture and respond to the needs of the student. Because the student is an individual and

will not respond to any form of teaching unless they want to, it often will depend on

whether the student is there voluntarily of their own free will, whether any learning can

take place, It can be argued that unless the student has the motivation to learn or can be

helped to discover a motivation they may drift through their education only waiting for it

to finish or their education is curtailed for them due to their non participation, one of the

keys which may unlock the door is developing learning skills which simply may be

learning to learn, some teaching methods such as chalk and copy plus show and tell can

have a negative effect on the learning process because the teacher decides when and how

to give help, they then correct the student’s mistakes and take away the decision making

and responsibility from the student, making them dependant passive and subordinate,

these characteristics are not helpful in developing people for a work place where

errors may not be accepted, where also they may be asked to work in a team in which

knowledge and learning must be shared and are expected to work on their own initiative

if something needs doing. So some students need to learn to learn and being able to

identify their learning style could prove useful. The work of Kolb could prove useful in

identifying different preferences of learning styles, he suggested that learning follows a

cyclical process involving:


 who need to be personally involved in the task, who perceives in the task and who reflects on it?



Convergers, who prefer detailed steps in learning who perceive information abstractly and reflect on It.


Assimilators, who thrive on problem solving activities, and who perceive and process information abstractly and actively respectively.


Accommodators, who enjoy taking risks, who thrive on flexibility in learning activities, and who process information actively.


Kolb argued within this cyclical process there are four types of learner.

The reflector, who seeks alternatives to create options, who is prepared to wait and watch others until the time is ripe for action, and who tries to retain a sense of perspective.

The theorist, who tries to gather all the facts and who is well organised, reviewing alternatives and calculating probabilities, working well independently and learning from

his or her own past experiences.

The pragmatist, who is keen to try out new ideas, techniques and theories, who evaluates options and is good at finding out information, who sets goals and takes positive action to meet them, working well independently.

The activist, who is prepared to take risks, to become involved with others and to gain new ideas and insights from them, who is active and relies on personal gut feeling to drive his or her actions.

The above apply to Kolb and his experiential learning theory which is different to that

of the behavioural learning theories and it also differentiates experiential learning from

cognitive learning theory because of its emphasis on experience  combined with

perception, cognition and behaviour.

There are also lots of different learning styles for example visual learners, kinaesthetic

learners, tactile learners, focusers, scanners, impulsive versus reflective thinkers to name

a few, it could be said that the job of the teacher is to identify these learning styles and

then effectively help facilitate learning.

This brings us onto the thinking of Carl R. Rogers who believes that teaching is a vastly

over-rated function (p228 culture and process of adult learning) as teaching means to

instruct and to impart knowledge or skill and ‘to make to know’ he suggests that teaching

has it place in a society that does not change or want to change such as the Australian

Aborigines and that their survival in a wilderness is down to teaching and passing on

knowledge. Teaching and the imparting of knowledge makes sense in an unchanging

environment but in today’s world which is constantly changing and where preconceived

ideas and theories will be challenged and what is taught today could easily become

outdated in 20years. We only have to think about the arrival in our lives of computers,

the internet and mobile phones and how quickly today’s technology is often outdated in

months, let alone years and decades. Rogers argues that there is an entirely new situation

in education and that the goal in education, if we are to survive, is the facilitation of

change and learning. (page 229 Edwards et al) ‘The only man who is educated is the man

who has learned how to learn’ and this is what the teacher know has to do, they can be

the catalyst for change and be able to assist the facilitation of learning so as the student is

able to free their curiosity and to change direction following their own interests so as they

become more inquisitive, question, explore and recognize that everything is open to

change. To be able to be this teacher, who is able to facilitate this learning often requires

a gut instinct or maybe a natural ability but will definitely be someone who has a good

relationship with their class, someone who is genuine and is a real person and not an

actor on a stage and can communicate with their student on a one to one basis in a direct

personal encounter, this person will be accepted by the class and the class will trust them

because this teacher will care for the learner as an individual and a person in their own

right, if the teacher is able to do these things they will create an atmosphere which will

encourage and facilitate learning in a classroom that is so different, that if there is any

resemblance to an old classroom situation then it is purely coincidental. Carl Rogers was

a humanist psychologist who provided a framework of understanding for Malcolm

Knowles who presents andragogy, ‘the science and art of helping adults to learn’

(Knowles 1984:52) as a theory of adult learning.

It then could be argued that there is a problem in this area and it has it roots in the people

who do not want to learn who are only in the classroom because it would be illegal for

them not to be there or they would lose their benefits to give these people a free rein may

result in chaos, the means to assist these pupil’s are probably beyond the realms of a

Teacher in a normal classroom as quite often it is these peoples own personal, social and

economic backgrounds where the problem lies, all outside the classroom in an area

where the teacher may have very little knowledge. It could well be that a teacher who

was brought up in a middle class background with two parents may have no

understanding of a child whose mother is a single parent who has four children with each

child in that family having a different father who lives on a council estate where degrees

of dishonesty and lawlessness is part of everyday life. The child is unlikely to have any

respect for the teacher or authority as they have very little respect for themselves, this

will lead to a situation in the classroom where discipline would be impossible to keep

and the only solution may be a school or college for people with special needs and a job

for teacher’s or facilitators of learning with expert skills in these field.

It could be suggested that behaviourism may be the best type of learning theory in these

circumstances because the pupil could be motivated by reward. Behaviourism suggests

that the pupil responds to stimuli based on reward, this learning theory suggests that by

receiving a stimulus that provokes a response and this response is reinforced by praise,

marks, prizes, work, money, promotion etc, this leaves the teacher in control because

they can control the stimuli. It then becomes necessary to set behavioural objectives or

learning objectives these have three main concepts aims, goals and objectives, a learning

objective can be defined as a change in the learners behaviour because the result of that

change can be observed by noting what the learner can do, as compared with what they

where unable to do before the teaching commenced. The learning objective is a statement

that describes what a learner will be able to do on completion of an instructional process

for example at the end of the lesson the pupil will be able to stop the car in a safe and

convenient place on the left hand side of the road. This will then have to be broken down

into more specific objectives, like the student will be able to describe the correct routine

for parking, plus the student will be able to identify where it is not safe and convenient

to park in accordance with the highway code.

It seems that it does not matter one iota what and how people learn but that we can learn

some methods are more effective than others in certain situations and with certain

types of students and it seems to be best practice that a combination of the three main

models of learning behaviourism, humanistic and cognitive may be the most effective.

Having looked at behaviourism and the humanistic approach we can look at what the

cognitivists base their theory on. It is based on how student’s gain and organise

knowledge and that the student actually creates a pattern of what the information actually

means to them. (page 76 Armitage etal) A key feature of cognitive theory is that

knowledge is constructed through interaction with the environment. It is a cognitive

process which involves acquiring new information which enables the learner to evolve

and transform their existing knowledge and then check out and apply the new state of

knowledge to new situations; and so the process goes on. New patterns of meaning and

understanding is formed to enable further learning to take place. The process is


How do we apply these theories to our learning and teaching? If we go back to Kolb and

his theoretical learner, pragmatist, reflector and activist it is argued by Kramlinger and

Huberry (op cit) (page 95 Armitage et al) that the theoretical learner learns best with

cognitive methods, the pragmatist learns best with a mixture of behaviourist and

humanist approaches, the reflective learns best with humanist approaches and the


activist responds to a mixture of behaviourist and humanistic approaches. Kramlinger

and Huberry (op cit) conclude that humanistic techniques answer the why questions :

cognitive approaches answer the what question; and methods which are predominantly

behaviourist but with some humanistic techniques answer the how question. So if the

student preferred learning style can be identified then it may be able to enhance their

learning by using their preferred style or a combination of learning theories.

Finally as we often teach a skill it may prove useful to be able to identify the

characteristics of a skill, the source of my information comes from an edited version of

two chapters in A.Gallantly (ed), the skilful mind, Milton Keynes, Open University Press,

1986. The characteristics of a skill can be broken down into five headings these are;

fluency, rapidity, automaticity, simultaneity, and knowledge using the mnemonic

FRASK can be a helpful way to remember this.

Fluency is when a task can be repeated with a minimum of pauses and hesitations,

rapidity involves the ability to make the appropriate response quickly, automaticity is

when the skill becomes natural and is able to be performed without thinking,

simultaneity is when the coordination of hands and feet can be executed at the same time

and it can be possible to perform an unrelated task such as talking all at the same time,

knowledge is when you are an expert in your field and this knowledge is available at the

appropriate time, it is of no use knowing that amber means stop unless it is followed by

 the necessary physical actions. This leaves the question how is the skill acquired? Is it

inherited? Or is it acquired by opportunity and practice? If it is a natural talent gifted to

us through our genes or does it require some nurturing to full fill its potential or can it

be developed by conditioning and behaviour?

Even though I conclude this essay with more questions, it will seem that as humans we

have a quest for understanding and knowledge which is probably what drives our

societies. Does it matter whether you use a traditional style of teaching or you adopt a

more constructive approach? It will only matter if the style is ineffective and learning

does not take place, so it will seem that the teacher that can adapt and use all styles, will

become the most effective teacher.











Armitage A et al (2003) Teaching and Training in Post Compulsory Education 2nd edn Maidenhead Open UP

Cohen L, Manion L and Morrison K (2004) A Guide to Teaching Practice 5th edn London and New York Routledge Falmer

Edwards R et al (eds) (1993) Culture and Processes of Adult Learning Routledge: New York

Murphy P (ed) (1999) Learners, Learning & Assessment London: Paul Chapman

Reece I and Walker S (2003) A Practical Guide to Teaching, Training and Learning 5th edn Sunderland: Business Education Publishers

Teaching Deaf people to drive

TeachingDeafPeopleToDrive Just click on the link for your download.

Young drivers attitude to advanced driving

Young drivers attitude to advanced driving click on the link for the free download.

SAFED for Vans become a Trainer

The SAFED for Vans programme has been a remarkable success, with over 14,000 drivers trained since its launch in 2005. It is now considered to be very well embedded within the Van sector, and the objective of recent years to transition from a full government funding, to a stand alone commercial training product has been achieved. The role of SAFED training providers in delivering high quality, effective training with considerable professionalism throughout, has been fundamental to this success.

The provision of government funding to support the costs of SAFED for Vans training ended in March 2010. Since then, trainers have continued to be able to market and deliver DfT-branded SAFED for Vans training.
However, from the 1st April 2011, The SAFED name and logo can be used, but only in relation to training that follows the official SAFED for Vans course guide. Information for potential SAFED for Vans customers will be posted on the Business Link Website explaining that courses sold as ‘SAFED for Vans’ should follow the outline given in the SAFED for Vans guide.
A revised SAFED for Vans ‘Trainer Manual’ is also available which outlines the standard to which those who were trained to deliver the course during the SAFED programmes, were expected to adhere to. Anyone wishing to become a provider of SAFED for Vans training from now on will make arrangements directly with a commercial training provider to receive Instructor training. The DfT nor AEA will play any role in verifying the credentials of SAFED trainers, and so responsibility for determining quality and content of SAFED driver or instructor training will lie with the customer.
The online training database is also now closed – trainers will produce their own certificate numbers and will not be required to provide/store training results for the use by the DfT or AEA. The SAFED helpline number/email account is closed.
For those who are interested in becoming trainers, this allows Graham Hooper who was director of training for The Big Red Fleet Company when they became SAFED training providers of the year in 2009 to significantly reduce the cost of this course and can now offer training as a one day course either two to one or one to one.
Please ring Graham on 07889194011 or e-mail direct to for further details.

You have to be in it to WIN it!

Click to Download Factsheet 110202011 



It’s John here from Tri-Coaching and I have a question for you… What do you really want?

OK – A lottery win would be nice but let’s face it – the likelihood of it being you is extremely small…  But whatever you want ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it!’ And this is as important for job satisfaction and earning power as it is for anything else.

Modern businesses can no longer get by on ‘second class service’ – but a real problem is that many driving instructors don’t recognise that their service is second class – they work hard and do a good, honest job with what they know but it’s what they don’t know that is holding them back. – they’re not in it and they won’t win it.

In order to get what you want, regardless of what that is, you need to give outstanding customer service – and in our business the heart of that service is ‘training excellence’.  The ability to give compelling lessons that always leave your pupils with a positive sense of achievement and wanting more.


So how will you compete in a market place where instructors are starting to realise the link between CPD and their ability to succeed? A worthwhile qualification can gain you the respect of your peers – but it can do much more than that. It can give you the inner confidence to know that you are ‘in it’,  that you have the skills to deliver lessons that are compelling and that leave your pupils with a sense of achievement that they will want to tell people about – and the people they tell will be your future clients.


I often hear instructors say that they are already coaching and have been doing so for years… But in many, if not most cases I discover that this is simply ‘unconscious incompetence’. Graham Hooper, one of the Tri-Coaching partners told me that he used to believe that he was coaching during lessons – until he spent two-years at university studying coaching psychology. Coaching is far more than a few techniques for asking questions, it’s a powerful approach that can help discover, facilitate and develop the intrinsic motivation that leads to success – both in yourself and your pupils.


In this month’s DSA Despatch ezine Trevor Wedge (Chief Examiner) talked about the DSA’s recognition of ‘client centred learning’ saying that it added a valuable addition to the instructor’s toolkit. Those who have learned about coaching and who are constantly developing their skills recognise just how valuable a coaching approach can be.


If I’m absolutely honest, I don’t know which bit of the BTEC for Coaching in Driver Development will be the most valuable for you – for some it will be the qualification in itself, for others it will be a single nugget of wisdom gained during the course. But I give you a guarantee that when you spend four days with three of the UK’s top trainers and 30 or so like minded instructors you will discover something that will make a significant change to your business, your life or both.


Sue McCormack told me a story about a course she attended with a National Organisation where she met someone who shared some information that has since earned her thousands of £’s. Ironically it wasn’t the course that was valuable on that occasion (Sue described it as ‘awful’!) but a chance conversation with a fellow delegate. We have no plans to deliver an awful course! But we might just help you to discover an awful lot of opportunities.

This course that will flow with positive energy motivating you to achieve and opening up possibilities that  will show you  the way towards  more freedom with your work and more (or even more!) enjoyment not only for you but for your clients. Positive recipes that will help you GROW your business.


The attached factsheet has been updated with the dates of our second 2011 programme following the rapid sell out of our first dates – the second course is already over 50% booked and so contact us now to guarantee your place.


You can be in it – and you can definitely win it!

For more info or to book your place mail: – call Graham Hooper on: 07889 194011, Sue McCormack on: 07817 64 69 70 or leave a message at: 0800 048 1808

Best wishes

John Farlam for Tri-Coaching

PS. Remember that if you don’t feel that you have learned something on the first day we will refund your fee.

Learning to Drive the Evidence


If you have not read this and your an ADI or interested in learning to drive you should.

Groundhog Day

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day, was yesterday February 2nd, it is a corny but popular
tradition in the United States.

It is the day that Punxsutawney Phil (The Groundhog)
comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to
look for his shadow.

If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more
weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.

If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadow less, he takes
it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.

Regardless of what happens with our good friend
Punxsutawney Phil, I wanted to use this day as an
opportunity to provide you with a second chance, an
opportunity to make this the best year of your life.

If you did not have a great year in 2010, if you have
already broken your New Year Resolutions, and if you
are not as prosperous and fulfilled as you would like,
you need to do something differently, and you need to
do it now.

Why? Because all change, all progress begins with a
single decision, a single action, a single YES!

SO, is 2011 going to be the year you accomplish all
you’ve dreamed of…forever?

Self Esteem

Self Esteem – The Problem Behind All Problems – By Asoka Selvarajah
Self esteem is THE major challenge of our era. It lies at the heart of many of the diverse issues and challenges we face in life.

In fact, it is precisely because low self esteem does not seem to be the problem, that it is so very insidious. Many people who suffer from low self esteem attribute their life challenges to wholly different causes. It does not even occur to them to relate their problems to how they regard themselves at the deepest level. Instead, they blame their problems on a mean boss, racial or sexual prejudice, a talent for choosing abusive love partners and so on.

In this way, the problem is externalized. However, doing this merely moves a person further away from the real problem, and consequently from the solution. Thus by disguising itself as some other more immediately visible issue, low self esteem is never tackled and overcome. It remains to rear its ugly head again.

Whatever challenge you face, you can rest assured that someone else has had it even worse, and yet gone on to triumph. If so, what prevents you back from doing the same? The answer must inevitably be – yourself. YOU are the primary force shaping you life. If others faced similar external challenges and triumphed, then external circumstances are NOT the primary determiners of your life. Your attitude of mind is.

How Low Self Esteem Arises

People with NO apparent self esteem problems may still be susceptible at a subtle level. For example, failing to shoot for your dreams when you were young, and settling for a safe route to an unchallenging existence, can damage how well you regard yourself. In later life, it could manifest in short temper, cynicism when others DO try to better themselves, and even physical illness. However, it seems hard to pinpoint the exact problem.

At the heart of compromises such as these is the fact that you did not believe in yourself sufficiently. In other words, self esteem issues, often inherited from your parents, appeared at this early stage.

There are many causes of low self esteem. We gain our predominant world-view by the age of five. In other words, whether you consider the world to be a safe or dangerous place, and whether you will react to events in a primarily positive or negative manner, is determined by this age. Parents are the prime shapers of our young psyches at this time. However, schools, society, and our peers also play an important role. Our later experiences in life merely reinforce the core impressions we gained at this very early age.

As the role of parents is so vital, they need to be FAR more conscious of the consequences for their child of EVERYTHING they do, say, or even think. Moreover, this care must begin whilst the child is still in the womb! Parents are too often far too casual about how they bring up their children. They unconsciously pass on their own limitations to them as a result.

Facing The Challenge Of Ourselves

What can you do to improve your self esteem? The first thing is to understand the difference between self-esteem and self-image. Self-image forms as a result of comparisons you make between yourself and those around you. It is the judgment you make of yourself – the image you have of yourself. Sadly, it is often negative as you can usually find someone better than you at almost everything. Self-image in turn affects self-esteem. An easy way to understand this difference is to look at young children. They have perfect self-esteem BECAUSE they have no self-image. They are not continually judging themselves against externals and falling short.

The key is NOT to work upon self-image. This is what many people try to do. However, working on self-esteem is the heart of creating radical change. When you work from the inside out, how you feel about yourself in comparison with externals must eventually improve as well.

The key to improving your self-esteem is to take conscious control of your self-talk. Negative self-talk is the prime cause for creating and maintaining negative self esteem. The things you say to yourself in your mind, as well as the meaning you attribute to events in your life, combine to create the reality you end up live. Most people’s self-talk is roughly 95% negative. They see the worst in themselves and in everything that happens. Putting a stop to such self-destructive thinking is vital. It is our thoughts and expectations that shape and produce what we become. The quality of our lives is a direct result of them.

One excellent way to combat and overcome negative self-talk is through using positive affirmations. The principle behind them is that the brain cannot entertain two contradictory notions at the same time. Eventually one of the two contradictory notions must win out and cause the other to collapse completely. The belief that finally wins out is the one that you invest with the most emotional energy and constancy of thought.

Affirmations such as:
“I like myself”
“I am a positive person and I create a positive life”
“I am a wonderful person of immense value who deserves to be loved”

…and others like these will do absolute wonders. Note how all good affirmations are framed in the positive. Never frame an affirmation in the negative, e.g. “I am NOT a negative person”. The subconscious literally cannot see the word “not” and will therefore interpret and act upon the affirmation as if you said “I AM a negative person”!

Create a series of affirmations like this and resolve to use them throughout the day. You can write one or more of them out ten, twenty or more times a day. You should also take every opportunity to say them out loud to yourself. Always do so with enthusiasm and gusto; really feeling the positive emotions surging through your body. This is the true key to making affirmations work in improving self esteem. Putting all your emotional energy behind them gives the affirmations the power to destroy negative self-talk and low self esteem.

An extremely powerful way to use affirmations is to record yourself speaking them quietly onto a tape, perhaps with some soothing background music that you like. Then you can play this tape quietly in the background at every opportunity. You have effectively created your own subliminal tape! Try playing this to yourself when you sleep at night, using an auto-reverse walkman. The results in your life will be truly tremendous.

Recognition Of The Problem Is Halfway To The Solution

There are many effective ways to remedy low self esteem. However, the key to success in life is to recognize the existence of the problem in the first place! Therefore, consider where self esteem issues may be lurking in your life, but manifesting as apparently external problems. The key attitude for success in life is to take total responsibility for what happens to us. We must work upon ourselves continually in order to manifest what we want. Creating high self esteem is one of the best things you can ever do to totally transform every aspect of your life.

You can WIN

Get yourself motivated watch this.

Life is tough, do you have the courage?

Courage does not always Roar

Introduction from
Courage Does Not Always Roar…Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Courage
by Bobi Seredich
Foreword by Mary Anne Radmacher
Just the Two of Us, by BJ Gallagher

I’ll never forget that first night in our new apartment. I had spent the previous week getting the place ready for us to move in as I prepared for the next chapter in my life: a single mom going back to college with my four-year-old son, Michael, in tow.

We had lived with my parents in Dover, Delaware, for a year after my marriage broke up. They were so patient and generous as they gave me space and time to figure out what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I was just 23 years old – disappointed in love and confused about my future. I finally decided I needed to go to college and get an education.

I had very little money to start my new life – $100 a month child support and $100 a month from my parents. I rented a basement apartment in Newark, where the University of Delaware was located, a hundred miles north of Dover. I furnished it with a $10 army cot for Michael, a $40 used bed for myself, a $10 table on which to study, and two empty beer kegs with pillows on top for stools. My coffee table was two cinderblock bricks with a board across the top. There was no sofa, just a small Greek flokati rug to sit on the floor. A bookcase held my radio/receiver, turntable, and a pair of small stereo speakers. The apartment looked like a typical college student apartment, except that in our case, the student was a young single mother with a toddler.

Michael and I spent our first day unpacking and putting our clothes and personal things away in the closets and cabinets. His toys filled a plastic laundry basket. We went to the market to stock up on food and got the kitchen all ready to use. It had been a busy day.

Bedtime came and after his bath, I knelt to tuck Michael into his army cot. Tears welled up in his eyes as I leaned over to kiss him goodnight. “I’m scared,” he started to cry. “I want to go back to Grandma’s house.”

I wrapped my arms around him. “I know, sweetheart. I want to go back to Grandma’s house too,” I said as I started to cry, too. “But we can’t – we have to stay here and start our new life. From now on it’s just you and me.”

We clung to each other and sobbed. We felt like a couple of orphans, suddenly finding ourselves alone that night, knowing we had to make our own way in the world.

There were no reassuring bedtime stories or fairy tales to make us feel better. We just hugged each other. Michael finally fell asleep in my arms and I went off to sleep in my own room.

That was many years ago and needless to say, we survived that night. We rose to the challenges of the following days, weeks, months and years. It wasn’t easy for either of us. I often say that Michael and I took turns raising each other.

And we still like to go to Grandma’s house – but we’re not afraid to sleep in our own beds, in our own homes, anymore.