Passing the test is not the same as learning to drive …..

Doing GCSE Spanish last academic year was quite frustrating at times, as the curriculum was focussed on passing the GCSE exams, rather than on improving our Spanish.  Being an Adult Education class, most of the attenders had homes or family in Spain, or travelled there frequently for work, and were interested in genuine communication.  However our homework kept focussing on “work experience”, “penfriends”, and “hobbies”.  Fair enough I suppose, because that’s what the exams focussed on.

This week I’ve been developing course materials for an NVQ course in community development.  I’m delivering the Fundraising and Resources for Community Groups elements.  But instead of being able to actually practice different tasks within writing effective fundraising bids, the participants must complete “worksheets” that demonstrate that they have been told the theory of writing bids, and that they have understood what they have been told.  Not that they have tried it out for themselves!  Indeed such are the constraints that I have even needed to drop some practical sessions from my regular course, in order to fit in a simple worksheet to cover the differences between core funding, revenue funding, and capital funding.  A section which would take a minute and a half in my normal “Ten Steps to the Perfect Fundraising Bid” course.

But I must be fair on the participants, and whilst I’m sure they would rather learn the practicalities, they also need to pass their NVQs in order to get themselves jobs as Community Development Workers, before they can help voluntary and community groups with their fundraising.  And they need to “evidence their learning” with these completed worksheets.  So that is how I will deliver the course. 

But I’d rather ensure they knew how to help our struggling rural community organisations REALLY to write the perfect fundraising bid!

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