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Guided Discovery

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

There were some comments a week or two ago on another thread about guided discovery which I thought were quite insightful and I would love to see a thread devoted to this topic...pros, cons, techniques, pitfalls and anything and everything related to this teaching technique.  

 

Here are the two insightful comments from the other thread to get things going:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 

 

Yes--most people hate that, Razie--and rightly so. But it need not involve the "trickery" or arrogant "coyness" that many people associate with Guided Discovery. Indeed, there's nothing wrong with announcing right up front that you're going to explore some concept and allow students to come to some of their own conclusions. It doesn't need to be some "secret" that you're just not telling them. I hate that too! 

 

I do think that instructors trying to use Guided Discovery often come across as acting like "I know a secret, and I'm not telling" that can infuriate students. When used effectively, Guided Discovery may even involve a series of specifically defined and described tasks--no "guess what I'm thinking" about it--that lead students to a real revelation. 

 

And most people recognize the truth of the principle that has arisen repeatedly in this thread--that pre-conceptions often interfere with objectivity ("believing is seeing"). When they do, they will generally appreciate instructor's efforts to explore a concept objectively, without trying to color their perception with the instructor's own opinions and beliefs. When it's really done right, the instructor is merely, and really, only a guide--not a "superior being." 

 

But you are completely right, of course. Guided Discovery used the wrong way usually backfires on the instructor, and angers and frustrates the student. It's not an easy thing to do, and it should never just be "guess what I'm thinking."

 

Best regards,

Bob

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
 

Two conflicting points

 

1. Guided Discovery is one of the best ways to teach, not just skiing but most anything.

 

2. Damn few instructors/teachers are able to do it right and when not done well it is a monumental example of fubar.

 

Personally, I prefer Guided Recovery where the instructor starts with the idea of what they want to communicate but are ready to change that goal in response to the feedback they are receiving from their group.

 

Another option is Guided Chaos where I have no idea at the start where we're going to end up but we'll try a couple drills/movements and the interaction of the group will determine just where we end up.

 

fom

post #2 of 10

Anytime anyone mentions "guided discovery" I think of Socrates guiding some innocent youth to the "Truth" in Plato's dialogues.  The discussion is what guides the reader to understanding.  Socratic dialogue is all about the journey.  Just having the punch line delivered in one fell swoop would never convince anyone that it was worth attention.  

 

IME guided discovery works best if the students know the teacher has a point he/she wants to make but isn't willing to just hand it out on a plate for that very reason; the ideas that come up in the search need to be explored and understood in order for the final objective to be richly understood.  I tend to make it a (wink, wink) "game" of let's see who gets the right answer first, and along the way we get to linger on the insights and misunderstandings everyone comes up with.   Encouraging wild guessing and experimentation amongst the group helps everyone feel supported for having come up with something interesting and perhaps enlightening along the way.  

 

Celebrating everyone's attempts to nail it is the key to keeping members of the group from feeling needlessly manipulated by a clueless teacher.  They have to buy into the game.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'd love to hear some example stories of Guided Discovery sessions...both good and bad....

post #4 of 10

I use that in my art classes.  Not so much in skiing lessons.  Not enough time and not enough group cohesion in my ski instruction situations.

post #5 of 10

Point to the quote of Bob Barnes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 
Quote:
 I hate it when I know I'm guided into discovering something though

 

Yes--most people hate that, Razie--and rightly so. But it need not involve the "trickery" or arrogant "coyness" that many people associate with Guided Discovery. Indeed, there's nothing wrong with announcing right up front that you're going to explore some concept and allow students to come to some of their own conclusions. It doesn't need to be some "secret" that you're just not telling them. I hate that too! 

 

I do think that instructors trying to use Guided Discovery often come across as acting like "I know a secret, and I'm not telling" that can infuriate students. When used effectively, Guided Discovery may even involve a series of specifically defined and described tasks--no "guess what I'm thinking" about it--that lead students to a real revelation. 

 

And most people recognize the truth of the principle that has arisen repeatedly in this thread--that pre-conceptions often interfere with objectivity ("believing is seeing"). When they do, they will generally appreciate instructor's efforts to explore a concept objectively, without trying to color their perception with the instructor's own opinions and beliefs. When it's really done right, the instructor is merely, and really, only a guide--not a "superior being." 

 

But you are completely right, of course. Guided Discovery used the wrong way usually backfires on the instructor, and angers and frustrates the student. It's not an easy thing to do, and it should never just be "guess what I'm thinking."

 

Best regards,

Bob


I can see this in both direction.  

On a lighter scale, an instructor can say, "if you do this correctly, you will feel this" .  If the student doesn't get the feeling that he/she is supposed to feel (according to the instructor) then failure is what is felt. 

If an instructor says, "Do this tiny thing and tell me what you feel" There may be a better chance of the student taking ownership of his/her skiing. 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

Point to the quote of Bob Barnes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post
 
Quote:
 I hate it when I know I'm guided into discovering something though

 

Yes--most people hate that, Razie--and rightly so. But it need not involve the "trickery" or arrogant "coyness" that many people associate with Guided Discovery. Indeed, there's nothing wrong with announcing right up front that you're going to explore some concept and allow students to come to some of their own conclusions. It doesn't need to be some "secret" that you're just not telling them. I hate that too! 

 

I do think that instructors trying to use Guided Discovery often come across as acting like "I know a secret, and I'm not telling" that can infuriate students. When used effectively, Guided Discovery may even involve a series of specifically defined and described tasks--no "guess what I'm thinking" about it--that lead students to a real revelation. 

 

And most people recognize the truth of the principle that has arisen repeatedly in this thread--that pre-conceptions often interfere with objectivity ("believing is seeing"). When they do, they will generally appreciate instructor's efforts to explore a concept objectively, without trying to color their perception with the instructor's own opinions and beliefs. When it's really done right, the instructor is merely, and really, only a guide--not a "superior being." 

 

But you are completely right, of course. Guided Discovery used the wrong way usually backfires on the instructor, and angers and frustrates the student. It's not an easy thing to do, and it should never just be "guess what I'm thinking."

 

Best regards,

Bob


I can see this in both direction.  

On a lighter scale, an instructor can say, "if you do this correctly, you will feel this" .  If the student doesn't get the feeling that he/she is supposed to feel (according to the instructor) then failure is what is felt. 

If an instructor says, "Do this tiny thing and tell me what you feel" There may be a better chance of the student taking ownership of his/her skiing. 

 

Trek,

 

You have identified the point at which Guided Discovery begins to break down for most instructors. They see where they want to end up and a path that will lead to that end but the damn student wanders off down a side path or just trips over a rock in the path and the instructor is unable to adjust their plan. The usual outcome at this point is the instructor throwing random tasks/drills at the student to get them back in line  and the 'I have a secret, you have to guess it" teaching cycle emerges.

 

fom

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntoski683 View Post

I'd love to hear some example stories of Guided Discovery sessions...both good and bad....

ESA Stowe, Robin Barnes: we had spent the morning doing a drill, weight transfer, I think, at moderate speed. Then something clicked, I looked at her and said, "hey, we're doing crossovers!" She just smiled. If I ever make it to Tahoe first place I'm going is Heavenly for a lesson with her.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatoldman View Post
 

 

Trek,

 

You have identified the point at which Guided Discovery begins to break down for most instructors. They see where they want to end up and a path that will lead to that end but the damn student wanders off down a side path or just trips over a rock in the path and the instructor is unable to adjust their plan. The usual outcome at this point is the instructor throwing random tasks/drills at the student to get them back in line  and the 'I have a secret, you have to guess it" teaching cycle emerges.

 

fom


RE: Guided Discovery I always like to say "when we get to the fork in teh road let's take it". It is nice to have some time to wander around.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 
 


RE: Guided Discovery I always like to say "when we get to the fork in teh road let's take it". It is nice to have some time to wander around.

 

Its when you are wandering around wondering where you are that you find the neatest things.


Edited by fatoldman - 11/29/14 at 5:07pm
post #10 of 10
Releasing your inner expert requires the instructor to step away from the command and task podium and participate from a facilitator role.
It is not that they hold back anything as much as allow the student to explore, the rightness of anything thus is subject to how well we set up a situation.
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