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Old 27 August 2007, 03:33   #11
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As Instructors our role is to develop knowledge and capability in those we are working for being very mindful that people will vary in their ability to grasp certain of the areas that we are covering.

It then becomes our job to ensure that we explain these concepts in such ways that people have the greatest chance of grasping them. We will need to have a variety of ways available to explain some of the areas.

I feel that it is unreasonable & unrealistic to expect those coming on courses to be able to do these sort of calculations easily. In my opinion whether you are able to or not is a product of a variety of things not least of all whether you have to use your brain daily for such tasks, if you donít then inevitably it will take more time to engage with such concepts.

We regularly work with people who certainly struggle with numbers, perhaps cannot read and write and might for whatever reason be very practical people whilst really struggling with some other areas. Indeed a high number of the people that we teach have dyslexia making certain areas more difficult for them than others. And these people are just a standard cross section of those taking Level 2 and other courses, they are no less capable than others they just have different strengths Ė and often are amongst the best boat handlers. I donít believe it is very helpful if we as Instructors create the impression that not being able to grasp such subjects implies people are at best less capable than others.

In the overall scheme of things bear in mind that grasping such subjects is not that important in the context of what we are trying to achieve at Level 2. The fundamental aim of Level 2 is to ensure that people can handle a boat safely and have a basic appreciation of a variety of other areas.

As to the subject of speed/time/distance calculations I used to really struggle in the heat of the moment to work out the numbers (and consulting an almanac isnít always a very realistic option) until someone explained the following way of doing things to me:

Take an example, Iím doing 15 knots. Therefore in 60 mins Iím going to travel 15 miles.

Divide by 10

In 6 minutes Iíll do 1.5 miles.

How long will it take me to do 8 miles?

Thatís 5 lots of 1.5 miles (to give 7.5miles) with 0.5 miles left over. 0.5 miles will take 2 mins (1/3 of 6 mins) and the 7.5 miles will take 30 mins (5 x 6 mins) so 32 mins.

And finally, does it feel right. 32 mins to do 8 miles at 15 knots Ė seems okay.

Regards

Paul
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Old 27 August 2007, 03:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Wave View Post
tell em what the speed is in Knots per hour and then tell em what it is in Knots per minute.
Technically a 'knot per hour' would be a unit of acceleration, not speed!
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Old 27 August 2007, 04:10   #13
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Well spotted

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Old 27 August 2007, 04:45   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Glatzel View Post
As Instructors our role is to develop knowledge and capability in those we are working for being very mindful that people will vary in their ability to grasp certain of the areas that we are covering.

It then becomes our job to ensure that we explain these concepts in such ways that people have the greatest chance of grasping them. We will need to have a variety of ways available to explain some of the areas.

I feel that it is unreasonable & unrealistic to expect those coming on courses to be able to do these sort of calculations easily.
I agree and that's a nice open minded view.


Quote:
Take an example, Iím doing 15 knots. Therefore in 60 mins Iím going to travel 15 miles.

Divide by 10

In 6 minutes Iíll do 1.5 miles.

How long will it take me to do 8 miles?

Thatís 5 lots of 1.5 miles (to give 7.5miles) with 0.5 miles left over. 0.5 miles will take 2 mins (1/3 of 6 mins) and the 7.5 miles will take 30 mins (5 x 6 mins) so 32 mins.
But that's still fairly complex for folk with limited arithmetic skills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waver
..but would you think most people have had no practice at mental calculations because they always use calculators!
I've no doubt that my brain has become slower as a result of lack of practise but to use a calculator one still needs to understand the principle of the solution, eg. what is ľ of 28 requires the understanding that 28 must be divided by 4. In Paul's example it needs to be understood that dividing 60 by 15 and then multiplying it by 8 gives the solution. His method of explanation is an attempt to surmount this part of the problem. So yeh, I agree but removing calculators won't fix it...how the fek would I manage me calculations then?
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Old 27 August 2007, 05:05   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue Wave View Post
Agreed, but would you think most people have had no practice at mental calculations because they always use calculators!

PeterB give your stoodents a break tell em what the speed is in Knots per hour and then tell em what it is in Knots per minute. That technique usually enables people to be accurate
Knots per hour??

Knots per minute??

Don't you mean Nautical miles?

Knots per hour is an accelleration!
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Old 27 August 2007, 05:16   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Glatzel View Post
As to the subject of speed/time/distance calculations I used to really struggle in the heat of the moment to work out the numbers (and consulting an almanac isnít always a very realistic option) until someone explained the following way of doing things to me:

Take an example, Iím doing 15 knots. Therefore in 60 mins Iím going to travel 15 miles.

Divide by 10

In 6 minutes Iíll do 1.5 miles.

How long will it take me to do 8 miles?

Thatís 5 lots of 1.5 miles (to give 7.5miles) with 0.5 miles left over. 0.5 miles will take 2 mins (1/3 of 6 mins) and the 7.5 miles will take 30 mins (5 x 6 mins) so 32 mins.

And finally, does it feel right. 32 mins to do 8 miles at 15 knots Ė seems okay.

Regards

Paul
My few courses have taught me that its unrealistic to expect them to be able to do it Paul. It just came as a bit of a small surprise!

However, I now work out three figures for them on the board and make sure that they understand the logic behind these by starting at 60 knots.

30 knots = 2 minutes per nm
20 = 3 mins per nm
15 = 4 mins per nm

That way they can just multiply the passage distance by 2, 3 or 4 and get the correct time for the trip.
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Old 27 August 2007, 06:11   #17
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when you spend so much of your time on a boat- be it a 6m rib or a 16m twin 1,000 hp cat- as we do it is far too easy to forget that folk coming on a boat course are often in a state of nervousness ( ok in some cases fear!) of what is ahead of them. To some it is to be their first taste of being at the wheel of a high speed craft (or perhaps any boat at all) and some have not been to sea before except on perhaps a cross channel ferry. This fear manifests itself in different ways. The overtalkative guy who keeps telling you he has done this that and the other is just basically scared of making a prat out of himself, and the quiet client who wants to shrink away from being noticed is just showing his nervousness in another way. When they are in this sorta state basic maths is just a step too far, especially if you are gonna remind them of their school days with a blackboard and chalk!! By day two when they have been out in the boats, realise how much they really do love it despite all their prior misgivings and doubts then you may find them more responsive and with more brain cells than you originally credited them with, particularly if it is now more relevant and they can see where they have been the day before on the chart and how long it did actually take. It is very easy to be the smart alec when instructing on the bit of water that you always use and where time and distance is obvious to you but a bit of empathy with the total novices goes a long way to building their confidence instead of destroying it with sums. Oh yes and I think the total lack of ability to do simple mental arithmetic is a shamefull indictement of our education system
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Old 27 August 2007, 06:21   #18
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Now I know why I promote Paul Gs Powerboat Handbook to all my Level 2 students, he really has got a fantastic way of putting concepts across in an easily understood manner. I also fully support his view that maybe the issues being discussed on this thread are not of huge importance within the Level 2 programme, safe boat handling must be foremost!!
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Old 27 August 2007, 08:19   #19
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Safe boat handling must be foremost!!
Yep!
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Old 27 August 2007, 08:50   #20
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folk coming on a boat course are often in a state of nervousness ( ok in some cases fear!)
i fink yorr rite mistir mullitt.

i noe a nobbur hoo wennt onn a corse an hee sed fuk mee gaRf de teecher waz a scairy buggir. hee ad a faice dat ownly a muvver cud luv an dats ifn sheez parshully sited

gaRf

dis iz a pik ov de aformenshund teecher. i av ad itt reetuched too maik im a bitt mor preezentabul
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luk arfter numbir wan, downt stepp inn numbir too
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