Yesterday the core PC3 team completed the first two day session of their ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching course. We were in a group with members of the Carnegie Leaders in Learning partnership, most of whom have prior coaching experience, so those of us who have never done this before have the benefit not only of an excellent coach in Sarah Readings (who is leading the course) but in peer coaching from colleagues.
It was a pretty intensive two days but I found it fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable. It became very clear how different this is to tutoring or mentoring – and how difficult I am going to find it to step back from offering advice. Twenty years of tutoring creates habits that are hard to kick! Learning rather to listen and to ask the kind of questions that will prompt the coachee to explore the issue themselves rather than rely on guidance from us is not trivial but it is empowering to the coachee. The philosophy is that we all have the potential within ourselves to move forward from where we are – and we develop better when change comes from within us rather than from external sources.
How this will work in coaching learning remains to be seen. Clearly there is still a need for tutoring at a subject level – but how far can our students develop themselves as independent learners if we encourage them to take responsibility for their own learning in this way? I am looking forward to finding out!