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Attitudes, they say, are contagious. The question is – are your’s worth catching? writes Anendra Singh in the Northern Advocate 8 October 2010.
Teaching, coaching or advising for attitude is incredibly hard. However, all over the world their are teachers, coaches and advisers doing just that. What is their secret?
The first step is to include your values and attitudes into your learning programme. It was Benjamin Bloom back in 1956 that identified learning took place in three areas of development: cognitive, affective and pshycomotor. Teachers are often most comfortable in the cognitive domain teaching terminology, concept and principles. Sports coaches are often most comfortable in the pshycomotor domain of physical movement, coordination and motor-skills. However, the affective domain is the one that unlocks the ‘x’ factor, the values and the attitudes that carry winning teams through tough times.
To address Anendra’s question, you must first identify the values or attitudes your team needs. Choose them not for the easy times but when times get tough. Think about values like courage, patience, work ethic, determination and respect. Take those values and design them into your programme. Write a learning outcome which addresses your values in your context. For example, “Demonstrate courage, determination and persistence when under pressure”.
Now look to David Clarks’ map of Bloom’s revised taxonomy for ideas on how to facilitate learning for your outcome. Clark suggests a staged approach.
1. Receive and respond to the phenomena: Explore the words, give examples, discuss, and create light hearted role plays.
2. Value and organise the behaviours: Discuss and agree their importance, and identify actions and words that will illustrate the behaviours. (These form your performance criteria.)
3. Characterise the behaviours: Internalise the behaviours emotionally, socially and personally. Have your learners experiment with these behaviours, and reflect on them. Ensure your learners’ assess their performance against their own critiera. Give them feedback. Have your learners practicising until these behaviours are second nature.
As a teacher, coach or adviser you will be providing guidance and support throughout the process. It is time consuming, sometimes difficult, but enormously rewarding. Remember, attitudes are contagious, just ask anyone who has participated in a winning team, what they remember most is the culture of the team. It is your role as a teacher, coach and adviser to set that culture and foster it through learning in the affective domain. When your team next faces tough times, it will be good to know they can draw upon the “x” factor.