Pseudo Teaching; Excitement but No Learning!

Modern technology is fueling a lot of great learning tools but also “pseudoteachers”

Bad teaching is usually easy to spot with the obvious lack of learner engagement, no improvement and performance problems. But pseudoteaching is increasingly a problem in academia (and aviation) because it is exciting and fun for the student (and looks great in reviews) but unfortunately fails to accomplish any real learning goals for the students.

Pseudoteaching is a growing problem due to whizbang technological presentations and the “ratemyprofessor” celebration of simple popularity as a metric of pedagogical success. In aviation this same problem is fostered by valuing simple social media popularity as a substitute for credibility, honest content, and actionable learner results. And unfortunately, though a failure to “get it” in math will cause a simple failure of the test, in aviation this could have a serious safety implication for you!

We all live in an accelerating world of media and technology. Much of this is unfortunately only “intellectual fast food” with lots of bulk and not much real content. Much of what becomes popular and masquerades as “true learning” is unfortunately mere showmanship or even false hopes conveyed by less-than-honest “pseudoeducators.” Those YouTubes of amazing performances are often created with clever desktop video assembly after infinite failures (don’t try these things on your own). In aviation, the test comes down to simple consistent learner performance since aviation is a ruthlessly honest activity; you either have it or you don’t. Our asymptotic safety record demonstrates the price of doing aviation poorly.

My former Chief Pilot used to continually frustrate me, as a new CFI, with his (very honest) recitation “If the student has not learned it, their instructor has not taught it well enough.” Credentials like Master Instructors and the General Aviation Awards are very useful tools to sort out the real educators from the imposters. Adhering to an industry accepted vision and mission statement is also a great tool to insure honest instructional credibility. Despite many technological advances and amazing on-line tools, achievement in aviation still is somewhat medieval in it’s requirement for hard work and time spent working though difficulties to achieve hard-won success. Find and trust an honest and compassionate coach willing to work through your difficulties and celebrate your successes. Anyone that is selling a “quick magic solution” to success in aviation is hawking you snake oil in a modern YouTube container…buyer beware!


BTW: I *do* love YouTube and as an iOS Developer thrive on modern technology; misuse is my bête noire.

Please “follow” our SAFE blog to receive notification of new articles. Write us a comment if you see a problem or want to contribute an article. We are always seeking more input on aviation improvements and flight safety. There are many highly qualified aviation educators out there! If you are not yet a SAFE member, please Join SAFE and support our mission of generating aviation excellence in teaching and flying. Our amazing member benefits alone make this commitment worthwhile and fun. Lastly, use our FREE SAFE Toolkit App to put pilot endorsements and experience requirements right on your smart phone and facilitate CFI+DPE teamwork. Working together we make safer pilots!

 

Amazing Vision and Mission Statements

Perfection may not be possible but “Striving for Excellence” is a worthy and continual goal. Learning is a lifestyle, not an event!

SAFE Vision Statement:

Promoting Excellence in Aviation Education

SAFE Mission Statement: 

The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) works to create a safer aviation environment by

  • Supporting aviation educators with mentoring opportunities, educational resources, and other benefits 
  • Inspiring professionalism through promotion and recognition of excellence and enhanced education
  • Representing aviation educators through interaction with the aviation industry and government 
  • Promoting learning in all areas of aviation for everyone at every level

Organizations are defined by their Vision and Mission. Some have a life-limiting reach and die off when meeting their goals. Others redefine their goals as they achieve each new milestone. Then there are some that never have goals but only a vision that is beyond reach. So, I looked at the Vision and Mission of the S.A.F.E. organization and was so heartened.

Let me explain what I mean. The five words define an ongoing endeavor. When does one achieve excellence in aviation education? That is the question. Does that happen when the finite number of members and other stragglers who happen to hit the website learn a thing or two before tuning out from the digital universe. Partially, it does, but not at a sustainable level. Indeed, one should always think this through a bit for achieving excellence in perpetuity. Ask any aviator if he or she has achieved the pinnacle of their abilities and the answer, if they are honest about it, will be no. Why do people like Sean Tucker or Peggy Wagstaff continue towards the journey to redefine themselves with their ever increasing knowledge of the finite bounds of the aerodynamic envelope? Because there is an infinite incrementalism yet to be achieved. It is akin to the Zeno’s Paradox, you never really get there. So, S.A.F.E. as an organization seems to have a vision that forever will shine like a beacon that can never be reached, yet the pursuit will always remain worthwhile. But if someone comes along and professes that that vision has been achieved, then the game of excellence is over and the organization like many others might cease to exist.

I also happen to belong to the MAPA Safety Foundation as one of the director. The motto of that organization is “Safety is No Accident.” That motto was coined by one of the directors, Theodore Corsones. Now if you look at that Vision, you will find a similarity to one at S.A.F.E. . Safety is defined as “NO” accident. But as we all know, that is impossible. As one safety-oriented pilot drops off from the role of flying another one not yet well versed in the nuances of flight takes over. Add that to the “To err is human” adage and the fact that errors are universal and inevitable then you have recipe of never really achieving that vision. But you try and keep trying, finding new mechanisms and tools to educate and fill the starved human mind with ideas of safety. You get closer and closer but never get there. And that is the pursuit of excellence. At S.A.F.E. the vision is aligned in the same vein as well. Educate the mind to veer away from the unsafe acts. Keep educating with the latest of tools and methodologies for they are in flux all the time!

At S.A.F.E. as a fledgling organization that is seeing a blossoming growth in its membership roster, we are fortunate to have a vision that defines the infinite view of safety in flight through education. As long as, we continue to view that vision as something worth hunting down and achieving, the prospect for sustainability as an organization will remain in the mission.


Please “follow” our SAFE blog to receive notification of new articles. Write us a comment if you see a problem or want to contribute an article. We are always seeking more input on aviation improvements and flight safety. There are many highly qualified aviation educators out there! If you are not yet a SAFE member, please Join SAFE and support our mission of generating aviation excellence in teaching and flying. Our amazing member benefits alone make this commitment worthwhile and fun. Lastly, use our FREE SAFE Toolkit App to put pilot endorsements and experience requirements right on your smart phone and facilitate CFI+DPE teamwork. Working together we make safer pilots!