Gradual Release of Responsibility

Gradual Release of Responsibility

Letting The Learner Take The Baton

Have you ever worked for an organization? How does your boss teach you about your work? Does he hold your hand and make you do everything or gives you a long lecture before taking up a task on why and how to do it? No, most probably not. Instead, your boss would just give you a brief, assign you a task and let you figure things out on your own. Now, imagine if you had a boss who actually held your hand while you were new. He would go to every meeting with you and talk to the client before you while you only observe to learn. After a few turns, the boss would ask you to take the lead and talk while still sitting with you to fill in for your mistakes.

After a while when the boss sees that you are comfortable enough, the whole responsibility is relinquished to you. Slowly the baton is given in your hands till the time you are comfortable enough to not do silly mistakes. This is a cooperative model of learning in which a shared space is created between the trainer and the learner. This approach gives learners an opportunity to ask questions, raise doubts, familiarize themselves with the environment, learn through observation of how others perform, while also practice the skill in the presence of the moderator or guide who can help the person reflect upon mistakes and learn from them.

Despite its benefits, this approach is not used by many managers in the corporate world. However, some programs are created to bridge this gap between academia and the corporate world using action-oriented models.

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