MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. — Airman Leadership School has been around for decades and is designed to provide Airmen with the tools and knowledge to effectively lead, supervise and motivate their subordinates.
As the Air Force evolves, the way professional military education is taught also adapts to the change. A few of the changes include the removal of the final exam, as well as some written assignments and marching. These tasks were replaced by new teaching strategies such as graded performance tasks and a capstone at the end of the course.
“The curriculum prior to the change was focused on evaluation of the student’s knowledge and comprehension utilizing an end of course examination and several assignments,” said Master Sgt. Tabitha Fredrickson, 22nd Force Support Squadron, ALS commandant. “Whereas the new curriculum is student-centered. Student’s bring previous experiences and rely on each other through the classroom discussions and performance assessments to improve one another.”
ALS is a crucial portion of preparing the Air Force’s next generation of front-line supervisors and leaders to deal with different types of situations effectively and professionally.
“Students can expect to be placed in a professional learning environment with Airmen from many different career fields,” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Baughn, 22nd Force Support Squadron ALS instructor. “They can expect to increase their speaking skills, confidence and overall professionalism.”
With the changes to the curriculum, Airmen will have opportunities to use critical thinking skills to discuss the four Universal Courses: Mission, Leadership, Problem Solving and Air Force Culture. These open discussions help teach students that becoming a productive leader is not only about being able to talk with Airmen, but being able to listen to them effectively.
“Every Airman that comes through ALS is going to walk away with enhanced tools to communicate their contribution to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing and the Air Force Mission while connecting with members from diverse backgrounds to collaborate and apply cognitive strategies to solve work center, group, wing, and Air Force problems,” said Fredrickson. “All while exhibiting and being able to instill the Air Force core values in others.”