What is Client Centred Learning?


People learn in different ways and at different speeds. If someone who likes time to reflect on their learning is forced to move on to the next thing too quickly it could slow down their progress. Or if someone who likes to learn by trying things out is made to watch too many demonstrations without having a go they will get frustrated.

Client-Centred-Learning is an approach to learning that takes into account how the learner prefers to learn. When people learn in this way they are more likely to retain information and skills. People are also more likely to keep learning if they are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning at an early stage – this is the second aim of client-centred learning.

Being killed in a car crash is the second biggest killer of teenagers, second to suicide. It is a sad fact that 17-25 year olds are more likely than any other age group to die on our roads. Over the years the road layouts have become more complex and the volume of traffic has increased significantly.

This is why we, as ‘Driver Centred trainers’, take our responsibility to teaching people to drive very seriously. A client centred learning approach is more engaging and interesting for the learner. It keeps them motivated and ensures they become a fully aware, safe and responsible driver.

Research has shown that passive learning, where the instructor is in charge of

the learning process, isn’t the best way to produce safe drivers. The new driver

will often find it difficult to know what to do when they encounter any new situations when they are out on the roads alone.

For this reason, our trainers use a client centred approach, this encourages the learner to become a ‘thinking driver’. They are encouraged to say what they want to work on, whether this is something from the syllabus or just a need to feel comfortable and confident with a particular task. They are encouraged to reflect on situations and any areas for development. They are then encouraged to work out

themselves what they could do differently next time.

A ‘solution focused’ learning approach stimulates the learner to take responsibility for their learning. They become more aware of their skill level, strengths and weaknesses, and can often learn much quicker than when taught through traditional, more passive tuition methods. It encourages them to problem solve so they can better deal with any situation that they encounter once they are out on the roads alone.

Here’s a summary of the benefits of client centred (active) learning for learner drivers:

  • They will feel able to make safe decisions for themselves

  • They become more responsible for the outcome of those decisions

  • They will have a more realistic appraisal of their ability and skill level

  • They will learn quicker and as a result possibly take fewer lessons

  • They will feel better prepared and more self-confident for driving solo

With more of a client centred approach the ‘Driver Centred’ Trainer will:

  • Ask the learner what they feel they are doing well with and what they feel they want to improve on – sometimes the learner may appear to be doing things well, but they don’t feel confident or are anxious, their trainer will help them to explore what they are thinking and how they are feeling.

  • Ask the learner for their input on what they want to work on – this may be something listed on the syllabus or something they feel they need to achieve, like getting onto roundabouts without panicking!

  • Encourage the learner to notice their own areas for development, to challenge them to work out how to do things better next time – this is a quicker way of learning so fewer lessons.

Lessons are structured with the learner’s best interests in mind, so the driving instructor will work with them to find out how they learn best.

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