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Coaching, a customized learning approach - Essay Example

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In her book ASTD handbook for workplace learning professionals, Biech (2008) reckons that knowledge gain is the definitive antioxidant of the mind in the fast changing word. Knowledge is responsible for the numerous developments in the social, cultural, political and economical spheres of the world today…
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Download file to see previous pages This can however change if those offering lessons, whether in an academic set-up or a workplace setup, can view themselves as coaches as opposed to just being teachers or trainers. According to Tankersley (2007), educators and trainers should act like sport coaches, whereby, instead of giving their students pens and papers to identify what they can and cannot do, they should place students in a practical environment from where they would be able to judge the skill level of each student. From the results, the teacher would then be able to guide the students in improving their weak areas.
Coaching is a term mainly associated with sports, whereby it is defines as the instructional way of issuing new skills, refining old skills and building collegial relationships (Rush and Shelden, 2005). There is no clear definition of what coaching in learning or working environment is. However, different authors have offered different meaning of the term. According to Rush& Shelden (2005), coaching is a help-giving practice, which can be used within a capacity-building model to develop new skills and attain preferred life circumstances. Wilkins (2000) on the other hand defines coaching as a transformative purposeful process that focuses on equipping learners with knowledge, change, achievements and development. Flaherty (2005) reckons that coaching goes beyond having an accountability partner who supports and guides one's actions towards defines goals. Despite the different definitions, it is apparent that coaching discourages the one "size fits all" analogy and instead supports a learning environment where each learning professional is offered guidance according to his/her skill levels, deficiencies and strong areas.
Coaching has three main objectives (Moran 2007). The first intends to establish a culture that recognizes teamwork as a workplace asset. This is especially so because learning is often done in a social setting and therefore requires social engagement and regeneration. The second objective seeks to develop group and individual capacity in engaging in self-reflection and creative ways of solving problems. As a result, the learners would learn to respond to challenges rather than react to the same. The third objective seeks to provide a continuum where individuals can acquire and share specific knowledge, proficiencies and strategies.
The development and Evolution of Coaching
The 1990s marked a time when coaching exploded into the business world. In the previous decade, the idea to create a process that would increase an individual's ability to assume effective leadership as opposed to the one-time training offered in most workplaces became an important way of learning on the job (Goldsmith & Lyons, 2005). The idea however gained popularity in the 1990's. However, coaching has always been a part of human history. The art of helping people discover their potential can be traced back to theorists such as Alfred Adler and Carl Jung (Williams, 2005). Adler encouraged people under his guardianship to set goals, plan and invent a future that they desired. Jung on the other hand, believed that people could create their futures by envisioning the same and leading a purposeful life. In 1951, Carl Rogers published the book "Client Centered Therapy", which not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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