Not So Simple After All

The titles of my previous two posts The Simplicity of a Good Teaching Part 1 and Part 2  are misleading.  Yes, the methods of addressing  problems encountered in teaching a child who doesn’t learn through standard “procedures”  (telling and showing what to do ) seem simple.  But the simplicity of the methods shouldn’t be confused with difficulties of finding the right approach  As simple as the solutions described in both parts of The Simplicity (…) appear to be, they are the result of analytical thinking which goes against well established, general  practices.

Instructor/teacher has to observe his or her student, guess what is preventing the student from learning, and design a method that would work around the difficulties the student has had so far.  It is a complicated process that requires both analytical skills and creativity.  Teaching is not a passive process.  As I stated before it is more like scientific approach of forming hypothesis and testing them. The only difference is  that you have to proceed with an extra care because there are humans on both sides of the “experiment” ,variables are many, often hard to notice, and they affect also the experiment taker – the teacher.

Teaching is a not simplistic, it is difficult and complex.

On the other hand, when a good method is found, it can be replicated in different setting with some variations.

I learned from Denise, the ski instructor, how giving visual cues helped Robert to adjust the position of his legs.  I realized that his difficulties might also come from not understanding for how long he should keep his legs parallel to each other.  That allowed  me to realize that maybe Robert’s difficulties with holding the reins have to do with similar deficit.  Hence, my suggestion to Kate, horse riding instruction, to have Robert count till ten while keeping reins up.  That was not a good suggestion, as I have just  realized , but somehow it led Kate to finding a better approach, by offering Robert clear,  visual cues to improve his riding skills.

The ski instructors offered Robert visual support.  I noticed that there was a time factor  involved.  My suggestion to Kate was about inclusion of this factor in her teaching, but she translated it immediately into much clearer visual cues.

Very interesting process.  Unfortunately, not something that grant taking institution are interested in

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