What is Adequate Instruction?
Becoming a flight instructor comes with a great deal of power.
With great power comes a great responsibility
Dictionary meaning of adequate instruction is – sufficient. Sufficient? So how do we define, weigh, or measure, sufficient in flight instruction?
The FAA PTS or ACS describes what the minimum standards should be. So at least we know what the “end product” should look like. Maybe.
Now, if someone is lost, and you get to help them reach their destination, then you must know what the destination is, and, what their current location is. And with proper evaluation, we can figure out where our student is.
Just like with space/time, the measure of knowledge is multi-dimensional as well. Rote, Understanding, Application, and Correlation is described in the Fundamentals of Instructions as Levels of Learning.
And the difference between a Commercial Pilot and a Flight Instructor knowledge, per their respective PTS/ACS standards is; satisfactory vs instructional.
Providing adequate instruction without evaluation is not possible. And proper evaluation, at the deepest level, is not possible in a short amount of time. It is a continuous process. A continuous evaluation of piloting skills and knowledge, while progressing through the training.
Another instructor responsibility is – accept the students with all their weaknesses and shortcomings. And help them realize their maximum potential.
This is where the things start getting interesting. As each student is different, therefor their “maximum potential” should be different. Also, their learning styles.
Adequate instruction, means, not only the quantity of training, but the quality of training, and the instructor’s training delivery methods to suit the student’s learning style, and of course the unequal completion standards.
PTS/ACS standards are the MINIMUM standards. It’s the equivalent of the 70% passing score in the written exam.
Each pilot certificate or rating course has a minimum aeronautical experience requirement. And if the instructor uses all the tools in the instructor tool-bag, and in-fact does provide the adequate instruction, while evaluating along the way, only then he/she can help the student fully realize their maximum potential.
Adequate instruction is not the difference between where they are and the PTS/ACS standards, but the difference between where they are and where they really can be.
Adequate instruction also plants a seed. When this seed is planted, and watered, it’ll just keep on growing, even long after the instructor finished his/her job with that student. And the watering comes from the now changed behavior of the student. This changed behavior includes the constant desires for professional growth, and for sharing the knowledge with others, and the constant hunger for self-enhancement. Almost like Tesla’s self-perpetual engine.