Rant o' the DayI've also been known to use the phrase "violent agreement" which means the opposite of violent exception, but both leave no doubt about my feelings on the matter.
I strongly advocate not putting new teachers into a classroom environment early in their careers because it's a form of force-feeding that tends to result in regurgitation. In cognitive terms, the classroom is where a very weak form of learning takes place that academics call "taxon learning." It's secondary in all meanings of the word: we study secondary sources and get the word from the authorities, and the learning task is to remember and repeat what other people think and say about things and not to develop one's own conclusions. It's second hand, abstract, and doesn't really get a person any closer to knowledge.
For instance, teacher holds up a picture of a tree and ask the class what it is. The class says, It's a tree! Teacher says, very good, class!
Does knowing the word for a tree signify any knowledge about trees? And if the teacher raises the bar and shows the class a photo of a tree and wants the class to name and classify this type of tree, and the class can do it, do they yet have any knowledge of trees? They can name things about trees that are secondary to the tree itself according to a conventional code. It's still not knowledge of the tree itself.
Taxon refers to the memorization of abstract data, or rote learning. Its context for use is a test of recall. This is lower level learning and is not very sticky, in the sense of sticking with you over time.
When you think back to all the things you learned in high school, what do you remember most vividly? Quadratic equations or the girl or guy you first made out with? Our species is hard-wired to remember the first makeout session and to forget the quadratic formula.
Your first makeout session is in your locale memory, which is where "what happens" is placed in a unique context complete with smells, tastes, emotions, etc., which is what makes it so retrievable later on. What you learn in a clinic setting on the snow is enriched by the context, the people in the group, the conditions of the day, etc. Context brings the meaning of a concept to life, and makes it memorable. Then, in the future, when you come across a similar problem, challenge, whatever, you will be able to access your memory of past lessons learned.
To paraphrase Einstein, intelligence is not a matter of how much information a person has stuffed into his head (a.k.a. classroom education) but how they put it to use--the intelligent person allows nonessential information to be stored separately to free up the brain for thinking and doing. Learning how knowledge is put into action is fieldwork. Such experiential learning results in knowledge that is self-constructed and therefore requires more processing work from the student/learner than taxon learning, which is essentially fed in word-bites to a passive audience.
I would define intelligence as the ability to see patterns and size things up perceptively, accurately, and quickly. I think the process resulting in mastery is one of acquiring intelligence in his or her field, and I am convinced that a program that emphasized locale learning over taxon learning in the early grades (because taxon learning does have a place in the higher grades) would speed the acquisition of intelligence as a ski instructor.