During the 1960’s Marc Gold taught in the field of SEN. He then completed a doctoral thesis relating to a system of teaching skills for people with disabilities. This was an organisational framework for instruction, and was guided by a principled approach outlined below.
TSI or Try another way (TAW) is a system of training for individuals who may find it difficult to learn. It has been used to help people viewed as different from others in society. It makes use of Instructional procedures. It can be adapted to many applications and tasks but may not be suitable in every instance.
TAW was developed from a philosophical standpoint: Disabled people are best served being trained in marketable skills, persons labelled as disabled respond best when treated with respect of their worth and competence. With the appropriate training disabled persons can demonstrate a range of skills and aptitudes. Labelling is not useful and rarely produces positive outcomes.
Any lack of learning is viewed as definitely on the teaching strategy or design and not as an inability of the learner.
TAW demands that learning is predicated on cooperation and mutual understanding of rights, competencies as well as personal preferences. The expectation is that both trainer and student should adapt to one another and develop a positive professional relationship akin to a colleague. TAW insists on a foundation of freedom and respect.
TAW views traditional forms of assessment and categorisation as hindering the learning, it’s focus is solely on what a person needs to know to successfully complete a task. Formal diagnosis invites judgement by a label alone rather than a person centred, individualised approach. Testing is an inadequate method of establishing anyone’s capabilities– “a test does not say who a person really is” and may not expect enough from the learner.
Effective evaluation must be constantly adjusted to learners as a training situation is fluid when such systems are used results should be kept in the strictest of confidence, and no constraints should be placed on what the individual might achieve.
Any label implies a limitation of what the individual might achieve – when there are countless examples of individuals out performing expectations and working well beyond artificial limitations.
- Intelligence is not one dimensional and defined by a test (also see Gardener)
- People learn and developed in different ways and rates, development is a lifelong process
- You cannot catalogue individuals based on performativity tested assessment
- You cannot separate the individual from the context and environment in which they exist
- No one behaviour defines an individuals potential
- Train don’t test
TSI also believes that the amount intervention in order for an individual to reach criterion should be considered, the capable the learner the less intervention required
Prompting or assisting are a form of intervention these may be verbal , or gestural. Other ways the trainer influences the learner is with motivation and reinforcement . Motivation promotes the learners desire to complete the task and whilst reinforcement is controlling events such that the learner is likely to repeat a given behaviour. TSI believes the use of reinforcement and motivational techniques can be distracting and should be minimised.
No individual is thought to be incapable of learning
Marc gold also discussed the competence deviance hypothesis, which suggests the more competence an individual is assumed to have, the greater the deviance from social norms we are prepared to accept.
Try another way utilises a form of corrective training that that does not discourage – hence try another way instead of no. With a focus on more information with the goal of the learner being able to independently complete the tasks in the absence of the trainer – not relying on their prompting or reinforcement.
Since it’s inception TAW has developed further:
- Training is best conducted in the natural environment – place (in the working environment) then train not the other way around
- When creating a task analysis the least number of steps necessary should be used – this should only be expanded ,should the learner require assistance
- Not all aspects of jobs can be captured and recorded in micro-detail, forms should not be filled in unnecessarily
- Integration of an individual in the workplace is the primary goal, training is a means to this end
- Standardised task analysis cannot be used uniformly due to the vast differences among jobs
- Teaching and training should take place where the information is used – Criterion of ultimate functioning (Brown et al 1976)
- Help and assistance may be required for the trainers in the workplace
- Careful planning any assist/intervention in the natural cycle – reliance on the trainer should be avoided
- Only take that data which is necessary, avoid needless focus on the learner
- TSI is not the only approach other means may be more appropriate such as partial participation, natural cues, job creation strategies
Adapted from “Try another Way” Training Manual Dr .Marc Gold
Marc Gold & Associates marcgold.com