My eldest daughter turned 17 during the summer.
Now for any father, this is a trying time (I would imagine this is also the case for any mother of a 17-year-old daughter as well)! And so it was that on her birthday, armed with new ‘L’ plates and a not-so-new car we drove to a supermarket car park to practise. This was after the supermarket had shut, I hasten to add, and in my naivety I assumed it would be a quiet place to let my daughter loose on the driving world as well as being one of the few flat areas around my home. We got to the car park to be met by every other 17-year-old in town (or so it seemed) all driving around slowly and steadily and all with concerned mothers or fathers cajoling - I mean instructing! - them on.
This experience got me thinking about learning in broader terms and the importance of a concept I was taught when training to be a teacher; the concept of ‘scaffolding.’ In the real world scaffolding is there to support a building and the builders until the point at which the building can stand on its own. This is a pretty good conceptualisation of how scaffolding works in teaching and learning as well; you start by providing support to the learner as they try out new concepts or search for new meaning in their studies and then gradually remove the ‘scaffolding’, allowing the learner to continue on their own.
The skill with ‘scaffolding’ is knowing when to start to let the learner stand on their own - too soon and they may stumble and fall, too late and they may come to rely on the scaffolding too much to the extent that it becomes a ‘crutch’ that holds them back. In all of this it is crucial to understand that no one learner is the same as another and the timing and level of ‘scaffolding’ will be different for each individual.
Inzpire's Mission Training Devices provide students with an immersive and safe environment in which to learn critical operational skills
This concept of ‘scaffolding’ is considered in all the synthetic training devices which Inzpire’s Mission Training Devices division design, build and deliver. As with all learners (and in my view that means everyone - we all learn something sometime!) our customers will need some form of scaffolding to support their development and ability to complete ‘the mission.’ Our synthetic training devices are designed to be part of the scaffolding that allows trainees to practise training tasks and missions of ever-greater complexity in a safe environment. Our simulation engineers, combined with personnel with many years of operational experience across multiple domains develop simulators and synthetic training scenarios that deliver trained operators who are ready and able to stand on their own.
In delivering this scaffolding, Inzpire’s Mission Training Devices are designed to support our customer’s precise training need. We focus on what is required now but ensure that our devices can evolve and grow as our customer’s training need develops. Inzpire exists to create a revolution in defence and our simulator and synthetic training devices are designed to deliver just such a revolution in the way trainees are supported in their training.
One of my teachers once told me that learning should be hard; not impossible but definitely not easy. Our devices are designed to support the delivery of complex and immersive training that will make it hard for trainees, but not impossible. That is the art of scaffolding - to ensure greater complexity and skill can be achieved in the quickest time. This is the art Inzpire’s Mission Training Devices bring to the science of simulation.
Do be warned my daughter will be out of that supermarket car park and onto the roads in the very near future, when she is ready - not before and definitely not after!
Inzpire Limited is one of 27 companies worldwide recognised by Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems as an Elite Supplier.
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