Jul 24, 2011

Thinking about MC Training

Here are some important thoughts about the future of motorcycle training: "The State and Future of US Motorcycle Training 2011." (Thanks Paul). Some of the more important ideas are:

"Most of our panelists believe the ideal training and licensing system is one that is graduated. In this regard, the group established three tiers and focused on the training standards that should be ascribed to the tiers rather than restrictions that the graduations should entail. As trainers, we leave it to regulators to decide the regulatory aspects of each graduation. That said, we anticipate that limitations would include motorcycle size or weight, hours of operation, and limitations on carrying passengers. Only a sparse minority of panelists felt that engine size was a useful metric."

"Rider training, however, is primarily an educational activity. Institutions of higher education (and even the agencies that regulate them) know that over-regulation of the educational product leads to poorer overall outcomes. This is because the course is less able to meet the individual learning needs of its participants. It is also less able to benefit from 'field innovation' where front-line educators discover, try and perfect small and simple, yet highly beneficial curriculum improvements." [This is similar to my argument that education is not a science, but an art. You can teach or you can't and all the credentials in the world have no effect on that fact.]

One of the key instructional philosophies of mainstream curricula is that students don’t need to know the 'why' of something, only the 'how.' In fact, basic rider training discourages teaching why things work as they do, considering it a distraction. This is antithetical to all other kinds of operations and safety training and even to most higher education." [This is definately a carry-over from academic educators, where "how" is considered unnecessary.]

"Every jurisdiction should have a dirt-based training alternative available to students who want either beginner or dirt-specific rider training." [Personally, I think the asphalt portion of training is useless.]

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