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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164298 Find in a Library
Title: Need for a New Learning Culture in Law Enforcement
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:63  Issue:11  Dated:(November 1996)  Pages:24-26
Author(s): S M Ramirez
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Law enforcement culture should be promoting a learning environment that, through the use of vision and experimentation, helps police agencies to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Abstract: Dr. Jack Mezirow of Columbia University has defined learning as "perspective transformation." This means that learning has occurred if the learner's perspective is changed by the assimilation of new knowledge. The format for most law enforcement training is based on the "Behaviorist Paradigm." The assumption is that the facilitator's task is to ensure that learners attain previously defined learning objectives, many of which are specified in terms of clearly observable behavioral outcomes. This type of training is most often used to teach children. Although it has some validity in task-oriented, instrumental learning, such as basic firearm instruction, it does not take into account that the student may have experiences that can be a valuable resource for learning. The most important skill that can be imparted in the learning process is the ability to learn, think, and solve problems in a self-directed manner. By embracing the "Humanistic Paradigm," which presents the instructor as a collaborative facilitator who works with the learners in creating objectives, methods, and evaluative criteria, law enforcement training can begin to give more validity to the experiences and perspectives that the students bring with them. Training should have built into it evaluation systems on at least two levels. The first is the evaluation of the training program itself. Formative evaluation is the process instructors use to make the training more effective. In this stage, the instructor collects data from the learners to determine its effectiveness. The analysis of these data provides the basis for the revision of the instructional program. The second form of evaluation concerns whether or not learning has occurred. Pre- and post-tests are one way to judge the learning experience. Some form of follow-up evaluation should also be developed to track the rate of retention of new skills or knowledge. 7 footnotes
Main Term(s): Police training evaluation
Index Term(s): Police training management; Police training programs; Teaching/training techniques
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