For many years the bog standard 1 hour lesson was the normal driving lesson time length, but was this always the correct length and is it correct for today’s driving lesson?

23 years ago when I had my driving lessons you got mostly the 1 hour lesson and for most it was all you probably needed but now days it is different.  It takes longer to get to locations, more scenarios and systems to learn and the student has to deal with more stressful situations which lower the student’s confidence and self-belief.

1 hour is too short, 2 hours is slightly too long, so 1 hour 30 min/1 hour 40 min is about right.

An example structure of an ideal lesson

  • 5-8 min recap – setting in, recap over last lesson, positives, plan for things to work on, route, aims objectives
  • 10 -15 min warm up drive –  Time to warm up get into the lesson, get to the training location
  • 2-3 min mini debrief – feedback on warm up drive, improvements made and further improvements.
  • 25-30 min – recap over old material from last lesson or things from the warm up drive
  • 2-3 min – mini debrief
  • 25-30 min – new material
  • 10 min – drive back, work on things form warm up drive
  • 5 min – lesson debrief

Advantages of this 1hr 30/40min lesson

  • Enough time to set up with the student their aims and objectives of the lesson and a good plan for the driving lesson and to find out the students frame of mind/readiness for lesson
  • Time to settle in/warm up as it may have been a week or more since their last lesson.
  • Chance to go over what was practised last lesson (old material) to improve some outstanding issues
  • A chance to do new material followed on from a successful improvement in the old material issues
  • A chance to do new material having known the student has successfully completed the previous topic
  • Opportunity to do repetitive circuits where the student can repeat several times and improve each time with a good chance of completing the topic on their own
  • More time to work on issues properly and for the student to ask questions.
  • More time to travel to various training locations rather than going to the same nearest location every time.
  • More cost effective and so better value for money.

Problems with shorter 1 hour lessons

  • A temptation to not discuss aims and objectives and to make a good plan as pushed for time
  • Very little or no warm up drive means student going straight into doing skills without warming up/setting in
  • Usually not much time for old material so jump straight into new material without being proficient in the previous learnt topic
  • Have very little time to repeat things e/g only one attempt at left reverse corner whether it’ successful or not before moving on.
  • Temptation for the instructor to do a more general lesson rather that a proper structured lesson with specific lesson focus.
  • Limited to traveling to many different training because of limited time
  • Driving instructor will more likely tell the student what and where they are doing rather than ask as to save time.

A good time to have a short lesson
For the first 3-4 lessons with a new driver it is sometimes best to do several short lessons in a 10 day-14 day period if possible, the frequency is more important at the beginning and also to have a short lesson as there is a lot of new information and they are will be very nervous and stressed.

Then after these first 3- 4 lessons it is more beneficial to have a longer lesson to be more cost effective and to be able to execute a good driving lesson.

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