When a new Scout troop comes together, it can take time for them to form bonds and work well as a team. In fact, there are four very distinct stages of team development; these include forming, storming, norming and performing.

Knowing which stage a team is in, whether it’s a Scout patrol or some other group, will help you offer them instruction at a level that will help them work well together more quickly. It will also help you be a more effective member because you will be able to ask for clearer explanations and demonstrations.

Here’s details about each stage of development:

edgeForming (low skill, high enthusiasm):

A Scout is enthusiastic about something new and motivated to learn but has a low level of skill.

You will need to do lots of careful explaining—telling the learner exactly what to do and how to do it. In other words, give explicit directions and guidance.

Storming (low skill, low enthusiasm):

A Scout has been at it long enough to realize that mastering a skill may not be easy, and  lots of work remains to be done. As a result, his enthusiasm and motivation are lower. Skills are still low, too. You must demonstrate the new skill to the learner, clearly showing him what to do and how to do it. In other words, he has to be shown how it’s done.

Norming (increasing skill, growing enthusiasm):

As a learner keeps at it, his level of skill will rise. He realizes he is making progress, and so motivation and enthusiasm will rise, too. You will need to guide the individual—give him more freedom to figure out things on his own, support him with encouragement, and help him move closer to the goal; the instructor coaches and confirms.

Performing (high skill, high enthusiasm):

Skills are high and so is enthusiasm and motivation. A learner has reached the point where he can act independently and be very productive. You can offer him plenty of freedom to make decisions on his own and to keep moving ahead. You can help the person evaluate future progress using the Start, Stop, Continue evaluation modelIn other words, enable or support them as they  it on their own.

In summary, consider this chart:Teaching EDGE

The EDGE model has so many teaching uses as we work with youth. In the comment section, tell us how it has worked for you.

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Darryl Alder
Darryl is a full time professional Scouter for Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America, serving as Director of Strategic Initiatives. But his pride in Scouting is his service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative and Commissioner.

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