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:
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."
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.