Chapter 6. Planning Instructional Activity

In the past, the aviation instructor was a capable pilot or aviation technician with a rather general understanding of basic teaching methods and techniques. More recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has paid more attention to the instructor’s role as teacher and mentor, and has provided a much better grounding in instructional techniques. The instructor is now required to master the teaching methods, write lesson objectives, outline and write lesson plans, and motivate students by example. The instructor is responsible for what is taught in the aircraft and classroom. The amount of learning that takes place is a direct result of how well the lesson is prepared and the teaching skill of the instructor.

Historically, aviation instruction focused on the performance of specific procedures and/or maneuvers, and learning was measured with objective standards. Changing technology and innovations in learning provide today’s aviation instructors with the opportunity to use new methods and teach to new standards. One of these methods, introduced in Chapter 4, The Teaching Process, is scenario-based training (SBT). While SBT is an integral component of today’s aviation training, the instructor is crucial to its implementation. By emphasizing SBT, the instructor functions in the learning environment as an advisor and guide for the learner.

Whatever the method of teaching, the key to developing well-planned and organized aviation instruction includes using lesson plans and a training syllabus that meet all regulatory certification requirements. Much of the basic planning necessary for the flight instructor and maintenance instructor is provided by the knowledge and proficiency requirements published in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts 61 and 65, approved school syllabi, and the various texts, manuals, and training courses available. This chapter reviews the planning required by the professional aviation instructor as it relates to four key topics—course of training, blocks of learning, training syllabus, and lesson plans. It also explains how to integrate SBT, aeronautical decision-making (ADM), and risk management into the aviation training lesson.

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