Teaching and learning

Many Purdue flight students are able to pass along their flying skills as certified flight instructors (CFI) for the University or the local aviation company. Derek Stewart, from Muncie, Ind., earned his certification through Lafayette Aviation and has been busy as an instructor ever since. Instructors need to be able to relate to individuals, Stewart said. “You need to be creative and think outside the box in order to tailor the way you teach to a students’ learning style,” he said. Teaching is one way Stewart continues his education, as well. “It’s impossible to know everything as a CFI, as students are constantly asking questions. That gives me reason to find the answer if I don’t know it,” he said. “I am constantly reviewing flight material, which is educational for me as a student and instructor.” Stewart spent the summer of 2011 teaching and learning as an instructor for the Able Flight program. The month-long program provides students with physical disabilities the chance to earn their pilot’s licenses. “I thought it would be a challenge for me and a challenge to my teaching abilities,” Stewart said “Even within the first two weeks, I was able to see them grow as people and as pilots.”