The First Class Cadet Logbook

The workbook for the 1st Class Cadet programme has been with us for some ten years now, and is now in its fourth edition. It is a training aid that would have been useful even twenty or forty years ago, and is the only part of the Classification Syllabus which uses the traditional method of writing information down on paper to record learning and progression in the subject: as we all know, the last paper textbooks were printed in the late 1990s, and now Classification training from Leading Cadet is all individual online learning…the value of which is another topic.
The main observation I’ve had regarding the Logbook’s traditional format is that handwriting is not our main way of communicating anymore - we adults might be appalled at the truly awful standard of children’s written script, awkwardness in holding pens and pencils, slowness in forming letters, misuse of capital letters, badly spelled simple words etc, but when was the last time any of us wrote more than lists or diary notes on paper using a pen? We have evolved from using hand tools to write, in order to communicate, to using machines for the whole process.
That being said, my job on our Squadron is to teach the 1st Class Cadet programme, which I had done before in 1989, in between two periods of regular service in the armed forces. The programme has changed hardly at all in the forty years since I was an Air Cadet, which proves its worth as basic training for cadets. Also, I can use old-skool methods of instruction - I’d rather new cadets learnt together in a classroom, rather than being told to get on with an online course or suffering Death by PowerPoint. I’d be interested to read other instructor’s thoughts and methods concerning this topic.
So may the First Class Logbook continue in RAFAC service…despite it being mentally painful looking at peoples’ dreadful handwriting when I’m signing off completed sections. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Although student-led learning can work with our ‘new’ online system, I think the target is still that these subjects should be instructor-led.

WRT the first class book. Like you, I think they are good, and work as a nice basis for training. When it comes to hand writing being the biggest issue with them, I’ve seen this solved. Cheap tablets/chrome books. I know of many squadrons who don’t issue physical books. But the cadets fill in a digital version of the book.

In fact, I think this is the aim of the training team for everyone to be doing this. It also helps with BTECs (should they come back…) as you don’t need to scan in every page. You already have a digitised version!

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 60 minutes after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.