Talking the talk: Developing a student centered approach for teaching communication skills for operational policing

Amanda Davies, Andrew Kelly

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The increasingly complex police-citizen situations in which the novice police officer may be placed demand that police training environments continually assess their education programs to ensure that such programs are contemporary and meet the expectations of stakeholders. One challenge facing recruit training is the need to prepare the novice police officer to communicate effectively in often stressful and complicated situations. Police educators must develop learning strategies which provide opportunity for students to build their capacity to be effective communicators through autonomous, student-centred learning experiences. The communications teaching and learning opportunities within the Associate Degree in Policing Practice for New South Wales Police Force (NSWPF) recruits is no exception. This paper discusses the changes that have occurred to the delivery of communication training to NSWPF recruits over the past 15 years. It considers the merits of incorporating authentic teaching strategies and learner assessment processes into the delivery of communication education and of creating experiential learning experiences that support autonomous, self regulated learners. In particular, it discusses the use of role plays (verbal communication trials) to provide a unique and authentic learning experience for students and to assess their verbal and non-verbal communication skills in a simulated policing environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSalus Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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