Training by the dashboard lights: Police training officers' perspectives
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Officially sanctioned workplace learning is an increasing trend. In the workplace, and particularly in emergency response contexts, success with workplace learning is an unquestioned goal. In order to achieve this goal, many workplaces utilize the general model of partnering trainees with more experienced personnel. This is the most salient feature of an Australian state's police probationary twelve-month operational training program, known as the First Year Constable Program. This paper analyses the perceptions, constructions and understandings of 13 police trainers in a regional headquarters of a state police service, regarding some important aspects of first year constable training. The data illuminated a group of police trainers who enacted their own experiences of being trained as a basis for how to approach training. The participants showed variability in how they reported what they saw as important to promote during training, and seemed to derive little direction from training policy or established and mandatory workplace competencies. The paper argues that these officers operated with a skewed application of the cognitive apprentice model of teaching. It shows, for example, that scaffolding in a relatively chaotic environment is highly problematic. Highlighted are several implications for workplace training in emergency response settings, particularly in the area of how the training is being coordinated and how practice is been shared and improved.
Studies in the Education of Adults
© 2014 National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE). This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified