One by one, they followed his signal to move forward, crouching behind trees, navigating through the brush, quickening their pace as they heard threats screamed behind them: "I see you, GI! They paused in a dried-up creek bed, Bennett bringing up the rear. "Keep quiet. There are land mines, B-52s and burnt craters all around us," he warned. "This is what a war zone looks -- " He was interrupted by a ringing cell phone. But he was not getting cell phone reception mid-battle in Fallujah, Iraq. He was teaching his signature Hidden Pursuit escape and evasion class to college students who had forgone the pull of dreary classroom lessons for the chance to dodge simulated gunshots and explosions at Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School here.
Survival and wilderness schools where students learn team-building and leadership skills through building fires and foraging for food have been around for decades, but this course(Bennett?s) is one of a handful of new offerings around the country that feature a more extreme kind of challenge. Research has shown that re-enacting a scene that relies solely on teamwork gives youngsters the chance to shine. If each person has a role whether in the classroom or in the deep dark wilderness then each person has a purpose. With a purpose you have confidence. Alexandra Wolfe/Georgina mcdaid www.BUILDjreg.com This is just one theory of how to build a students confidence, I have found many researchers believe that to build confidence in a student and to maintain that confidence in everyday life you need to apply the following; ?Continuity. Perhaps the most important factor is to have a person in a dedicated post available to give full-time continuity to training, and to be available for backup if things go wrong in the classroom. This is enormously important as it gives students confidence, knowing that there is help available if needed. ?Availability of equipment. This is crucial for motivation, so that people can go away and straight away be able to experiment and play with it, and not have a wait in which enthusiasm is dissipated. ?Delivery. It is very important that this is right; continuity and personal experience in the trainer makes a big difference to motivation. ?Relevance. It is much easier to hold the interest of trainees when the materials used and created bear relevance to their subject area or specialism. ?Peer Support. Training alongside other students has improved relations and aided co-operation enthusing them for new ideas and equipment. (Sheila Forrest BUILD) In my opinion, the Survival school is a clever idea, it helps students to feel like they have a role and gives them vital experience with teamwork but in reality can we really see ourselves in schools all over the world giving each and every student the chance to experience this form of confidence building? Personally I agree with Sheila Forrest who states that the most important factor is to give the students praise; followed by routine, continuity, relevance and support. A lesson without routine confuses students, lessons without continuity unsettles the students. Lessons without relevance become very tedious and lessons without support- well, why bother? Most importantly, a lesson without praise harms their self esteem. It may be an old fashioned method but when it comes down to it praise is the key.
Author: Georgina McDaid
Date of post: 2006-08-24