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Field Training Programs: Understanding Adult Learning Styles

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 78 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2009 Pages: 1-5
Michael Massoni M.P.A.
Date Published
February 2009
5 pages
Utilizing the South San Francisco Police Department (SSFPD) as an example, this article discusses how field training officer (FTO) programs can incorporate adult learning styles to maintain adult-learner motivation and ensure effective instruction.
From elementary schools, to college classrooms, teachers have adopted individual learning styles across the country. After the SSFPD reviewed its FTO program and made specific changes, it discovered the key to engaging students involved understanding learning style preferences and social and cultural components of the new generation of trainees. This has resulted in a greater success rate among recruits, and required minimal initial expense. It is recommended that law enforcement agencies evaluate whether incorporating the adult learning style in their FTO programs can close the gaps in training and improve instruction. Although adult learners are more mature and focused than their younger counterparts, instructors must have certain skills to maintain adult-learner motivation in the classroom. To ensure effective instruction, FTOs should tailor their training to meet the learning style of recruits. 7 endnotes