Traditional more academic courses would benefit from a mixture of both objective and process based models. The linear model is appropriate in this instance especially if there is an exam or test at the end of the course. As for success/ a pass in the subject then clearly defined objectives have to be achieved. Accredited courses are also standardized so curriculum design has to be consistent across institutions. This is also true of assessing more work based competencies. However, a purely outcomes focus even in this situation is not appropriate, as learning is much more holistic in its process other than purely the stated objectives. Active learning needs to be incorporated to ensure multi-sensory learning is achieved, as some learners will require more than the passive learner approach to achieve the stated outcomes
The purely linear model may however be appropriate for distance learning courses, where practical application is less important. In this instance learner interaction is not appropriate, and the course content is delivered in an entire package.
In relation to more vocational and lifelong learning courses the linear approach, although needing to be taken into account as the intention is that the learner achieves some sort of skills at the end of the course. Require more student led focus. This is especially important in our environment where the aim is to overcome past negative experiences of the educational system and enable learners to direct at least to some extent what they will learn.
As our classes are limited to 8 learners teaching is done as a group and people produce their own or in small groups. The difficulty lies in that some learners are slower than others, at times it is appropriate to allow learners to help others or to get those that progress quickly to do cleaning jobs such as washing up.
Sometimes whether to do paired work will be dependent on 2 factors. Sometimes to create a pudding for each learner to do an individual portion it requires ½ an egg. It is very difficult to halve an egg, so therefore in these situations it is more appropriate to work in pairs to produce a dish. During the afternoon sessions we sometimes have up to 2 people who are visually impaired, one more significantly than the other, they struggle to read the scales and are significantly slower than others in the group. Sometimes if creating more time consuming food it is appropriate to pair learners together to ensure that the lesson does not overrun. Also the availability of space in the ovens is another factor which will determine whether food is produced individually or in groups. If we are at full capacity of learners and are cooking 2 dishes in the oven, then people need to be put into groups to give the most efficient use of resources.
We practice fully inclusive teaching. Many of our service users are homeless. In an induction of a new staff member today, we were discussing the end of sessions, the staff member said well you tell them to go home. I then explained that this was not appropriate language, as many do not have a home to go to. I also explained that all food is taken away in silver containers and that we also provide plastic forks to enable the rough sleepers to eat the food they have produced later in the day. It is important to use appropriate language as failure to do so would create differences and barriers to learning and applying cultural norms (i.e. having a home to go to) that are not appropriate in our context. Therefore, we adhere to legislation relating to equality and diversity and equality of opportunity for all learners.
In all our activities we try to embed various skills apart from cookery. Our main aim is to raise self-confidence and progress toward self-actualization and maximization of true potential. We also include literacy and numeracy skills into the session as appropriate. It also develops co-operations skills and team work.
As there is no accreditation to our course, there is no specific assessment process. Achievement of goals is to produce a mains and a desert. We do however, identify those that it is appropriate to do so with, to work towards a basic food hygiene certificate, which is conducted online, so also assists in developing ITC skills. We also provide 1 to 1 feedback sessions and discuss learner progress and development.