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Maritime Heritage Skills Training Instruction Lesson Plans

Training instruction plans: what’s the use of it?

The training instruction plans (TIP) that you can find on this site, are developed for trainers who provide training in traditional maritime skills. Indeed, they are meant for the trainers, not for the trainees. These TIPs are not intended as self-instruction modules.

The trainer who is using a TIP, is supposed to master already the competence that is explained and trained. This sounds strange, doesn’t it? If you already can perform a certain task, why do you need such an instruction plan? Well, anyone who has ever taught a technical skill, will confirm that just because you are able to perfectly master a certain technique does not mean that you can flawlessly teach this to someone else. Have you ever taught someone to drive a car? Then you will recognize this.

TreenailsMoreover, it even seems that it works just the other way around: the better you know something, the harder it is to teach this to others. This has everything to do with the way automatisms work. When you perform certain activities again and again, it becomes an automatism, meaning that “thinking about what you are doing” disappears. Unfortunately this is exactly what a trainee expects form a trainer: to specify what to do, to show and clarify how it should be done and explain why it should be like this. Therefore, a trainer should always prepare properly without thinking that everything will be fine just because he masters the technique. It is a traditional pitfall for every inexperienced trainer. Based on these TIPs trainers can prepare and carry out their training sessions in a more structured way. Of course, we also count on their experience and expertise to translate these documents into a powerful learning environment.

With these TIPs we also have an additional objective: we want to develop a common, standardized framework. The reason why this framework does not boat building skillsalready exist, is related to the way that technical know-how is transferred. Technical skills are not acquired by reading manuals. To master techniques, you really need to do it, to practice and even make mistakes and fix them. In one word: experience. That experience is very personal for everyone and is rarely recorded or written down. This is definitely the case with the traditional skills that are covered in our TIPs. Historically, these were almost always passed on and learned orally. The result is that there exists numerous alternative methods for each technique. This is something you notice immediately when you discuss a certain technique with technically skilled professionals. In the TIPs we want to capture all the main points of a working method, the red line, or process, that is followed by most professionals

To summarize, we can say that every TIP we provide here, is a kind of scenario that contains all the elements to standardize a training activity, to support the trainer in preparing a training session and to eventually make the training process more efficient and effective.

What skills are covered in the training instruction plans?

Obviously, this was one of the fundamental questions to us. We started with the results of the TMS project (Traditional Maritime skills) (www.boat-building.org) that focused on describing and visualizing traditional maritime skills. Then we developed a global structure in which all these competencies are ordered as modules. You can find it on this site: (www.boat-building.or./learn-skills) Of course this is only the current situation, it can still be completed in the future.

How do the training instructional plans look like?

For each TIP we use a template in which the following elements are discussed

A. Title of the module

B. Situating the module in the general structure

C. Prior knowledge and skills of the trainees. Some techniques are based on a number of underlying knowledge and skills. It is important to check whether the student actually has these competences as the training starts.

D. The author

E. The date of the last update

F. List of required materials, tools and machines (infrastructure)

G. List of objectives (expected outcomes):

  • knowledge objectives: what the student knows, once the training is completed
  • behavioural objectives: what the student can do, once the training is completed

H. Resources that were used, some additional reading and audio-visual material.

I. Theoretical knowledge that is required to master the competence

J. An instructional component that describes what will be done during the training. Besides the activities, there is also a section with key points where hints are given in order to achieve a perfect result

K. An evaluation component. (Not integrated in the TIP’s yet) It describes the knowledge and skills that the student should have acquired and how to assess this during the training itself or through a final test, an assessment. This section can, for example contain a set of questions, instructions to organise an assessment etc.


Training instruction plans:  how will the story go on?

It is clear: the work has just begun. The last months, we have been focussing on the content of the general training structure and the structure of the TIPs. Then, as a first exercise, we developed about 10 TIPs. Of course, it is our intention to elaborate a TIP for every module that is listed in the general training structure.

We want to publish the TIPs as "open documents" and invite every visitor who can and wants to do a useful contribution to do so.

We are convinced that this form of "co-creation" can contribute significantly to safeguard the traditional maritime skills.

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New Project

maritime-heritage-skills.gifMaritime Heritage Skills Cluster Project: new funding to further support the preservation of traditional maritime boat building skills. Read more

Funded through the Interreg IVa Two Seas Programme


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