Education, they have successfully classified into the three of formal, informal and semi-formal.
Formal education, as you may have known already, involves a well-established institution called a school where lessons and instructions are given in the form of subjects or courses for the purpose of training and retraining students in the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Let’s take a look at what I termed “skilled workers”. These are professionals who rely on some sets of skills, other than just the theoretical knowledge of what they do. This definition helps delineate formal and informal education into two parallel lines; one emphasizing “theoretical understanding” for the formal educational system and the other emphasizing “hands-on, apprenticeship way” of learning for the informal setting.
But with advancing systems of education and ever-increasing demands for better hands at the job, the non-convergent pathways of the informal and formal education system begin to get more inter-dependent at which phase, the formal system begin to share some attributes with the informal system and vice-versa. More like semi-formal. Don’t you think so?
Apprenticeship is a learning method where the student observes the master and learn from them without having to write down notes or reading up large textbooks. It is a learning method among skilled professions like doctors, nurses, technicians, welders, fashion designers and manicure and pedicure beauticians etc.
One of my little girls once confessed that she dared not stand doing nothing at work when her boss is around. When I asked her why she said so, she said her boss would always want everyone seen to be doing something. But that was not the first time I have heard that phrase “Be seen doing something”.
“Just Be Seen Doing Something”
Every profession has a part where practitioners of the profession would be required to step out of the textbook and notebook stuff and face reality as it is. This is where experience will be more important. Your mastery in such a situation will be based on how much you are able to apply the things that you know in real-life scenarios. Apprenticeship is the means through which the experiences of the elders in the profession and passed down to the younger generations. Some of those skills and experiences may not be explicitly written in most of the books that the student may have consulted and will consult. Thus, the importance of apprenticeship.
How To Be a Good Apprentice
So far, good apprenticeship has been established as one of the best ways of learning and acquiring skills. Great apprentices who obviously did it right would have become so good by the end of the day that they can predict what their master would do even before he/she says a word.
If you know what the master knows, then you are as good as the master. And not to mention that some of the things you have acquired in your short time frame may have taken the master years of struggle and fruitless learning until the got it.
- Be present
- Be Submissive
- Be respectful
- Ask questions
- Attempt some tasks on permission after being taught
- Be obedient
- Be confident in yourself and your teacher
- Volunteer to help
- Forgive after being punished
- Love your teacher
Being present entails being physically and mentally present when you are at your place of learning. The first step is to be physically present, attending lesson sessions, being physically available. But it does not end there, you also need to be mentally present. That means you must prepare your mind to think about things that concern your job as much as possible. This way, you get every lesson that comes to you from your teacher.
Submission is the act of showing that you have dropped whichever esteems that you may already possess so that you can learn. This can be a major challenge especially if your teacher is younger, smaller in many respects or if you are more learned in other skills than they are.
Submission goes with respect. When you respect your tutors, they are more willing to teach you at their best. As also seen in any relationship, respect gives you respect. No wonder they say respect is reciprocal. When you respect your teachers, they respect you too and that makes the whole learning environment more enjoyable for both you and them.
Ask Questions When Confused
Asking questions can be annoying to who you are directing the questions to, especially if they are not willing to answer at that moment. But asking questions remains one of the best ways to clear your doubts and answer specific questions on your mind.
- To ascertain if you are following or not
- To reduce the load of unnecessary information
Attempt Some Tasks on Permission After Being Taught
Most teachers would never let their students take up some tasks that are too big or dangerous for them. For example, a surgeon would not let the student doctor just take up a surgery yet. This is because the student needs to be prepared to take up any task that requires practising what he/she has been learning.
- How much you know already
- How much you are prepared to handle the task
This partly encroaches into respect and submission. How would you feel if you tell your student to perform a given task which looks so absurd but unknowingly to them, it will form part of the training they receive under you, and then, they ask you for the reason why you are telling them to carry out that task? Sometimes, your teacher can deliberately or as a punishment, ask you to do some daunting tasks. And when you carry it out the way they instructed, you earn a star of trust but on the other way round, you get distrust if you disobey.
Build Confidence In Yourself And Your Teacher
When you do what you are asked to do the way you are asked to do it, your teacher develops more confidence in you. They are convinced that you can do things rightly. This is a conscious effort because, although your knowledge and understanding boost your confidence, your conscious effort to trust yourself and your teacher is what will get you ready to move on from one stage to another.
Volunteer To Help
Apprenticeship conventionally means you just learn by observation. However, you can take it a step further by volunteering to help when you perceive that a given task is going to be somewhat overwhelming for your master at the moment.
Forgive After Being Punished
Actually, the apprenticeship has no justifiable rights to hold on to grudges after punishment or disciplinary measures. These measures form part of every good learning process, and the student must try as much as possible to distinguish them from mere acts of directed hatred towards them.
Love Your Teacher
One of the greatest law of learning I have encountered is the law of affection, which emphasizes that you must deliberately love your teachers and the subject of your training to achieve the greatest learning. I guess I should have mentioned this point first but it is not bad saving the best for last too. What you must always remember is that you cannot learn effectively from someone you hate because when you hold on to the hatred, you program your brain to reject everything that comes from that person.
Why Is Apprenticeship So Important?
- It consolidates theoretical knowledge.
- Inculcates values and ethics into the student.
- Creates a bond between student and teacher.
- You learn more than what the books teaches.
- Also inculcates managerial abilities into the student.
- Creates a ground for recommendation by your teacher having known what you are capable of.
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