Monday, February 16, 2009

Introducing TAGteach to fishermen Part 5

“The true test of a teaching methodology is its success across a spectrum.”

The first sentence of the first slide of the first TAGteach day said it all. TAGteach is a methodology that works...regardless.
I wanted to let the guys from the Seafisher know that although many of the examples and stories in the presentation were about TAGteaching gymnasts, golfers, kids with autism, and medical students, the methodology was universal and would certainly apply to them as well. Their minds should be set on “how this applies to me in my world”.

We continued with history and basic TAGteach information.
What is TAGteach?
What does TAG stand for?
What is a marker and why should you use it?
What are the benefits?

We let the guys practice tagging people on videos. This step is great to bridge the gap between clicking chickens and tagging people. It is a different feel and using the videos builds confidence and precision.
The group tagged examples like:
Using the inside of the foot in a soccer kick
Bent knees during a volleyball set
Straight legs in a handstand on balance beam

The seminar continued, loaded with games and practicals that provided on opportunity to experience teaching and learning with a focus on creating clarity. We talked about how to break down tasks into small crystal clear behaviors that could be tagged; tag points. The group had an “aha!” moment when they realized the added value that comes with tagging; competency assessment

Incorporating tagging and tag points provides the management or teacher a real time assessment of skill acquisition. An audible tag means “yes” success. No tag means “self assess and try again”. This method delivers as much information to the teacher or person tagging as it does the learner.

We often teach and then say “do you understand”.
The learner shakes their head “yes” because they don’t want to get in trouble, or do it again, or look foolish or whatever.
I have found that it is the rarest of times that the “yes, I understand” head toss is true to its implication.
This miscommunication between parties is the fuse that can torch a teacher/student relationship.
The teacher assumes the learner understands and moves on, expecting the behavior will be performed precisely as it was taught. The learner fears the impending failure.

Tag points provide clear incremental staging sites for success and assessment.
The tag point is given, “fish head facing in” (this was a real tag point for the guys lining fish up for efficient processing).
The tag is heard, the learner is reinforced by the sound of success (the tag).
If a tag is not heard then the learner looks at the position of the fish, mental replays the verbal tag point “fish head facing in”, corrects the position of the fish and receives reinforcement with the sound of the tag.
If the leader sees that the learner does not know why he didn’t receive the tag and cannot make the correction within a particular time frame, then the tag point can be taught again.
The leader is immediately made aware that for whatever reason, the information was not initially processed by the learner.

This particular benefit of tagging was meaningful to the group. A crew member not doing his job correctly can cause a myriad of problems: loss of production due to improperly cut, laid or packaged fish and of course any range of injuries from improper operations on the ship.

Next Chapter: Tagging the Roulette Table

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