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holistic vs linear teaching - Page 3

post #61 of 168
AWESOME NOLO!

In response to ant,

I do not want to hijack this thread but I would be happy to discuss privately with anyone about alignment issues and on hill experimentation that can be implemented by anyone!
post #62 of 168
delete
post #63 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Actually, I hate to bring this to your attention yet again, but a scientific experiment was conducted years ago in Austria by the esteemed Professor Kruckenhauser who ran the Bundessportheim at the time, wherein two utterly novice groups were exposed to skiing. Each group was equipped with the best hardware of the era, one group went out with the best instructors in the land and the other group went to a specially designed learning environment but without instruction. Which group improved more after a given time period? The group without instruction.

The group without instruction spent more individual time DOING, and therefore, learning, than the group with instruction, which spent more time trying to digest information rather than make actual use of it.
post #64 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
The group without instruction spent more individual time DOING, and therefore, learning, than the group with instruction, which spent more time trying to digest information rather than make actual use of it.
I'm a bit stuck -- I think *both* the time spent doing and digesting information are integral components of learning.

Can we agree that learning is an exercise and the result is knowlegde? Nolo -- when you guide folks to discovery, their learning is not complete until they have taken time to *digest* what they discovered.

Recent posts make assertions about more effective ways of learning. IMHO learning is a path and I think the most successful path is the one the helps the individual. Just as we say there is no one "perfect turn"; I believe there is no one path to learning.
post #65 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cole
Yes, to some degree this is correct. What you do with it from there is up to your personal interest. However, you did "learn" something from the exposure.

YES!!!!

We discovered this with me learning to surf.... I stood up on a "green" (unbroken) wave... was riding along & something "changed" so I hopped off.... the wave was breaking... having NEVER really watched surfing or surfing movies I had NO IDEA what I was supposed to do & what was happening to my board....

The instructor was quite puzzled that I really don't have a "picture" of what I am trying to do.... I have somehow skipped a piece of the learning that everyone else does before deciding they wish to learn to surf...
post #66 of 168
So nice to have met and skied with so many Bears in Colorado in April. It was a great time!
I have been reading this thread on Holistic vs. Linear Teaching started by Susan Applegate. Actually, the posts/explanations of whole teaching and whole–part-whole teaching, as I read them, are all as I understand them, too. It’s the instructor’s educated choice as to which one s/he will use. Certainly, you can begin by presenting the whole; and if just one student gets it right out of the box, then great. For the rest of the students, you can break this whole into parts to meet their individual needs; and then, at some later time, put it all back together again. Think about it: what if five of your eight students get it right out of the box? Think of how much more you could do in your lesson with this newfound time. Or, you can begin by presenting the parts in some kind of sequence and build them into the whole. It would seem that somewhere along the line, instructors got the idea that they should always teach the parts first and then put it together into the whole. I question the always part. It should be the instructor’s educated choice as to which approach his/her particular situation requires. It also becomes the instructor’s educated choice as to what the whole will be. Here is where one’s personal philosophy of ski teaching comes into play. Horst’s explanation of Holistic vs. Linear Teaching is one to study. Refer to Arcmeister’s post of April 29th 5:26 pm on the epicski.com website.

We need to be careful to examine content and method separately. What the instructor chooses to be the whole (the task or the subject matter) falls under content. This choice usually reflects the instructor’s philosophy of ski teaching or that of his/her snowsports school. You may want to question the subject matter a teacher chooses, but that doesn’t make the method s/he uses a bad thing. The Styles of Teaching are methods, and Teaching for Experiential Learning is also a method: a method that incorporates all the styles of teaching and just about everything we know about teaching and learning.

Our Teaching for Experiential Learning model is based on David Kolb’s Experiential Learning model. It calls for the total involvement of the student (physically, mentally, emotionally) to be actively involved in the learning process. Therefore, not only does Professor Kolb call for the student to learn in all four learning styles (not limiting him/her to his/her one dominant style) but also that the learning styles be approached in a particular order: Feeler, with the focus on sensations; Watcher, with the focus on observations and reflection; Thinker with the focus on analysis and re-doing the task at hand; and, finally, the Doer with the focus on the performance of the modified task. Thus, a new Concrete Experience is created; and the student cycles through the model again. The power of the model lies in the fact that the student is learning in all four learning styles and not just in one dominant learning style.

1.The process of experiential learning begins when the instructor works with a student(s) to ‘create’ a Concrete Experience. The focus of this stage is on the “feelings/sensations” that are occurring during an attempt to produce a desired outcome. Through Direct and/or Indirect Teaching Styles, (Direct: Command, Task or Practice, Reciprocal, Use of Small Groups; Indirect: Guided Discovery, Guided Exploration, Problem Solving, Individual) the instructor will help the student(s) identify those feelings/sensations and associate them with the actual outcome.

2.Second, the student(s), with the help of the instructor observes the activity/task and reflects upon the feelings/sensations that are associated with the ‘actual’ outcome as they relate to the ‘desired’ outcome. These observations and reflections lead to the recognition of what happens relative to the desired outcome.

3.Third, using the information acquired through the observations and reflections, the development of needed changes are sought in the activity/task to better achieve the desired outcome - unless the desired outcome has already been achieved.

4.Finally, the next step is to test this new activity/task. As the new activity/task is tested, the new feelings/sensations experienced need to be associated with the new outcome. As a result, a new concrete experience emerges and the learning cycle continues.

If, in using this method, the instructor chooses to use holistic tasks that help students recognize the feelings/sensations of, for example, a steady core; or if that instructor uses a progression of parts to help the student recognize those feelings/sensations of a steady core, so be it. It is the instructor’s choice. This choice should be based on the student/instructor objectives, the outcome desired, the situation, the students, and the atmosphere desired. As in any discussion, there are those who say that Teaching for Experiential Learning is most effective when a holistic approach is used. Keep in mind that the goal is to help the student find his/her way to accomplish whatever it is he/she is trying to do. Without a doubt, it encompasses Horst’s “self discovery” and John Heron’s “feeling, imaging, thinking, practical.” It’s one more way!!
post #67 of 168
Joan, your comments here remind me of something I was told early on in my teaching (non-ski) career ... (paraphrase) "You will spend your whole life picking up tools and adding them to your toolbox. You need to learn both how and when to use them. The best teachers have HUGE toolboxes and always seem to know when and where to use each tool to be most effective."

kiersten
post #68 of 168
Joan,
It is nice of you to explain the experiencial learning model and I hope it helps some instructors understand the concept. As you know, it is much easier to use the model than it is to explain it.

Rw
post #69 of 168
It is an honor to have you participating on the instruction forum, Joan. Thanks for a very accessible explanation and the invitation to trust our students to show us their best way to learn.
post #70 of 168
Well said, Kiersten, and thanks for that. We have often spoken about the bag of tricks or toolbox that instructors need to gather, and, as you say, the more things you have in it, the more situations you have a better chance of handling!! I do think it is every instructor’s responsibility to learn as much as possible about the teaching/learning process. You never know when you might need that special something you have in that toolbox.

And thanks, Ron, for your post. Too bad we can’t get everyone to see you demonstrate the use of our Teaching for Experiential Learning model.

Thank you, Nolo. I appreciate your kind words. I have certainly enjoyed my work in ski teaching over the years. At first, I didn’t think there was a place for me on this forum because my work in the teaching aspect of ski teaching has been mostly with ski instructors, but I seem to have found a nitch.

As I read over my post of last night, I wonder if I helped Susan fit the Holistic vs. Linear Teaching into the Teaching Styles Spectrum. Keep in mind that the more decisions that are made by the teacher, the closer to the Command Style you find yourself. Conversely, the more decisions the students make, the closer you are to the cognitive styles of Guided Discovery, Guided Exploration, and Problem Solving. So the question is, “How was the task of ‘keeping the core steady’ presented?” “Who was making which decisions?” There’s the answer. We do know that for some time the emphasis in our classes is to make them more student centered, so the more you move toward student involvement the better; and, including students in the decision making process is a good start.

Back to Susan, maybe, just maybe, the instructor Susan spoke about who was using the Holistic and Linear Teaching was working toward this goal of making the lesson student/guest centered. Maybe, just maybe, the instructor was working with a version of Teaching for Experiential Learning. And, this instructor chose to use a holistic task of ‘keeping the core steady’ as part of this presentation. I am guessing here, but it sounds to me as though the instructor was trying to get the students to find ‘their individual way’ to keep their core steady - thus allowing each student to discover the sensations of how s/he has to move or where his/her body parts need to be at any particular time to accomplish ‘keeping their core steady’. And, as we said previously, for those students who didn’t discover this, the ‘parts’ approach to get the students to feel those sensations could be the next step. It appears that this instructor had a bag of tricks with plenty of tricks in it. Sounds just fine to me!!
post #71 of 168
Joan,

For years I have been using three teaching styles a lot. One is Guided Discovery, where I have a definate idea of where I want the lesson to go and lead the student/group/clinictj here. The next is Guided Recovery, where I start with an idea of where I'm going but interaction with the s/g/c/ causes me to change direction to a different aspect of skiing. Finally Guided Confusion, where I have no idea what's going to happen and let the interaction of s/g/c be the determiner of what happens.

Of these three types which comes closest to the Guided Exploration that you mentioned?

yd

edit P.S. Is Teaching for Experiential Learning related to the Experiential Teaching Cycle?
post #72 of 168
Yd
Not sure if you have access to the PSIA-E publication, Snow Pro, but my article titled The Teaching Styles: Plus One appears in the Spring, 2000 Issue. This article introduces Guided Exploration to the Spectrum of Styles. Hopefully, this article will help to answer your questions. Let me know what questions you have after reading the article.

In case you do not have that particular Snow Pro issue, let me say that Guided Exploration presents two or three possible choices to explore; and as the student explores these possible choices, s/he chooses/discovers the desired answer. In this style, the learner is engaged in reasoning, logic, critical thinking, and “trial and error” in order to discover the answer the instructor has in mind. For example: When working with fore/aft balance, the teacher might say: “First try leaning far forward, then far backward, then somewhere in the middle. Where do you feel your best balance point on your skis?” After exploring these positions, hopefully, the student answers by saying that being somewhere in the “middle” or being “centered” feels balanced. However, if the student does not come up with “the” answer, the teacher needs to find “another way” to bring that student around to the desired answer.

Keep in mind that Guided Discovery takes a linear approach as it guides/leads the student to the desired answer. And, through a series of very carefully planned “step by step” questions or tasks, the teacher guides/leads the student to discover the answer the teacher has in mind. Remember the picture of a “pyramid” as the example? In Guided Discovery, the teacher moves the student from the broad base of the pyramid to the tip where the student discovers the desired answer. The student moves systematically along this arranged path that leads to the desired answer.

If you are referring to the Experiential Teaching Cycle that PSIA-E was working with a few years ago, the answer is No.
post #73 of 168
OK - so what happens when the student does NOT lean forward as asked? Or back? Or worse still THINKS they are doing one when doing the opposite?

I hate that sort of rubbish - where some "teacher" KNOWS I'm doing it wrong but keeps "teasing" by making me "try" to "find the answer" instead of just showing me what is happening....
post #74 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
OK - so what happens when the student does NOT lean forward as asked? Or back? Or worse still THINKS they are doing one when doing the opposite?

I hate that sort of rubbish - where some "teacher" KNOWS I'm doing it wrong but keeps "teasing" by making me "try" to "find the answer" instead of just showing me what is happening....
This is a very common problem with the idea of Guided Discovery. While it can be a excellent method of teaching in the right hands,it far too often it turns into I Know a Secret, You Try To Guess It in the hands of 97% of the instructors who try it.

Throughout my ski teaching career GD has been touted as the best way to teach because the student will better retain what they learn if they discover it on their own rather than if they are just told what they need to know. This may be true but if it degenerates into a guessing game you end up with a frustrated student who feels, after an hour of lesson time, that if the instructor had just told them what he/she wanted them to do they could have moved on to something more.

It has also been pushed that GD is more student centered than say Command style of teaching. This is caca de toro. A good instructor can be just as student centered doing Command as doing GD. Being student centered has to do with developing a relationship with the student beyond the ski god teaching klutz relationship that, unfortunately, many instructors start with and involving the student in the decisions that take place throughout the lesson.

yd
post #75 of 168
Why are you so adamant, ydnar? As I understand the teaching styles, and as Joan has aptly explained, they are distinguished by one question: who makes the decisions, teacher or student? I believe that a teacher's greatest accomplishment is a self-directed student, or one who can manage her own learning. I love it when students tell me what they want to learn instead of that blank look and an ambivalent whatever...

If you ask a class to traverse in bumps with the question, what do you have to do to smooth out the ride? you're trying to create an insight that will stick with them. If they're skiing bumps they're ready to participate more actively in teaching themselves. You are teaching them how to teach themselves.

Besides the problem solving/discovery styles, I practice the reciprocal styles a lot too. Leader-follower with an observational/feedback focus, small group with a divergent discovery focus (how many ways are there to initiate turns?), human slalom and "parades" (the group lines up on the slope, each skiing down in front of the group and joining at the bottom--like human slalom but in front, not between the stationary group members). These are great for checking understanding, promoting partnership and group bonding, developing their eye for specific movements and patterns, etc.

A ski instructor who is stuck in the command/directive style is a novice, in my view.
post #76 of 168
nolo,

Sorry if the post came across a little strong. I've been in too many PSIA clinics where the leader was trying to do GD and the participants felt it was a frustrating guessing game. This from an examiner level instructor. GD is damned hard to do well and very easy to mess up. Far to often the goal that the instructor has in mind gets in the way of listening to the responses of the students to the various tasks given. The response is seen as either right (leading to the goal) or wrong (not leading to the goal) and that attitude is communicated to the student. If the instructor would listen to the student more they might decide that the goal they had in mind might not be the best thing for the student at that time and switch to some other more student appropriate goal.

We have to remember, its not our lesson its the students lesson. We might get off using GD or Reciprocal but if the student wants Command or happens to learn best that way that it is up to us to recognize that fact and use Command. Along this line I would say that most students come to a lesson expecting to be told what they are doing wrong and what to do to correct this error. A student with this attitude willtend to react poorly to a GD lesson

I agree that a self-directed student is about the best outcome that an instructor can hope for. I also agree that an instructor who can only command/direct is a novice, but a longtime instructor who uses GD or any style of teaching poorly and doesn't realize it is a self-decieving fool. We need to understand all the teaching styles to be effective teachers and just as skiing is a blend of the skills good instruction should be a blend of the teaching styles. The best instructors can throw a little Command into a GD or Reciprocal lesson if they feel the need. The best can blend GD and other methods into a neverever lesson even though a lesson at that level will tend to be very command heavy because of the nature of teaching a first timer.

I guess that one of the things that I am trying to get at here is that by presenting the styles in a way that gives new instructors the idea that some are so much better than others tends to make them try to use the 'better' styles too soon in their teaching career. Most third or forth year instructors aren't ready to do GD or Reciprocal lessons but they could be intergrating elements of those into whatever style they are using.

I am, as you know, something of a maverick who tends to question everything, so some of this is probably just the doubting Thomas in me coming out.

yd
post #77 of 168
DISSKI

In a situation like this, we hope that the instructor is perceptive enough to observe the student behaviors you describe and shift to another style of teaching. This is why it is so important for instructors to be able to demonstrate ALL the styles, no matter what their personal preferences may be. In this situation, the instructor can shift to another style for the whole class or if the instructor has moved toward an individualized approach in his/her teaching, it is totally possible for the instructor to use one style of teaching with one student and another with other students.

It’s always a good idea to stretch your abilities to learn and give every approach the ‘ole college try. You never know what will work when. However, if none of these options happen and you feel you have given the whole process a fair chance, it is perfectly acceptable to approach the instructor during a private moment and share with him/her that you are not comfortable with this particular style of teaching. In the situation you describe, it would seem that the student would be more comfortable with one of the more Direct Styles of Command, Task/Practice, Reciprocal, or Group.
post #78 of 168
Yd

Of all the styles, I think Guided Discovery has received a ‘bad rap’. I have heard it called a ‘fishing expedition’, ‘guided confusion’, and the ‘guessing game style’, to name a few. I think this has occurred, not because of any particular characteristic of the style but because the style requires preparation. For the most part, the other styles can be done more extemporaneously, but in order for Guided Discovery to be successful, the questions, tasks, and/or clues need to be planned and thought out before the lesson begins. Responses of the students need to be anticipated by the instructor ahead of time, to be sure the question, task, clue elicits the fewest responses possible. The instructor knows exactly where he is going, and s/he is seeking the most direct route. Any question that elicits a response that detours the lesson’s journey away from moving directly to the top of the pyramid is the product of an ill-designed question, task, or clue. Too many unanticipated responses contribute to the downfall of this style. These detouring responses must be acknowledged and then the instructor must do what needs to be done to get the lesson back on the path to the desired answered. Guided Discovery needs preparation and planning.

Just for the fun of it, read over what I have written about Guided Discovery and see how close it is to your understanding.

In Guided Discovery, the move is toward a "process-centered" teaching procedure. The style embodies a process of systematically getting to a target. It is actually a process of training students to use selection procedures in making small decisions in a definite sequence. In this sequence, there are questions, clues, or outcomes (tasks) arranged in a manner, which slowly, gradually, and securely lead the student to the answer (a fact, a concept, or a particular outcome). Each step in the sequence is based on the response/task/outcome in the previous step. There is only one answer and the teacher is responsible for leading the students to discover it

Question, clues, or tasks/outcomes are formulated so that a minimum number of alternative responses are possible. In preparation, the teacher needs to anticipate all possible responses. If the clue evokes too many responses, the clue needs reworking. A smaller step, closer to the previous one, will help to minimize the number of responses. Serious failure among the students to respond properly indicates inadequate design of the clues or the sequence as a whole. And, indeed, when this failure of the students’ inability to respond properly occurs, the process does become a guessing game. Remember just because a teacher ‘asks questions’ does not mean that Guided Discovery is being used. Remember, Guided Discovery is a series of clues concerned with one topic. These clues gradually lead the student to the one answer already known by the teacher.

Is this as you understand of Guided Discovery??
post #79 of 168
Joan,

Yes, that pretty much was my understanding of GD although your explanation goes deeper than most that I have encountered, thank you for that.

In fact your description impels me to bring up a point that I hadn't mentioned because I felt that it might be just my personal reaction to GD. I've always felt that effective GD lessons had something of an out of the can feel to them. The instructor is on a path that they feel they can't deviate from or the lesson will fail. This might be why when the unexpected question or response comes up the instructor seems dismissive. They were unprepared to incorporate the question/response into the lesson plan and unwilling/unable to be flexible in the lesson. As you point out this can be largely attributable to lack of preparation on the instructors part but it can also be a result of having an unconventional thinker asking questions.

It also seems that the instructor has made a decision about the lesson without a lot of input from the student and once the decision was made it couldn't be modified. The instructor sees the target rather than the student.

Your explaination also makes me think that GD is even harder to do well than I had previously thought. Considering that most instructors (even the high ranking ones) have little background in education beyond what they picked up as ski instructors I would question if we are prepared to employ what is obviously a very sophisticated teaching style. I would go further and say that most instructors who attempt GD don't do it well because, among other things, they don't understan just what GD is. Your technical explanation goes through a couple of other people before it gets to the line instructor and experiences a degree of distortion. The instructor, who left the clinic on GD with the impression that it is the top of the teaching style pyramid, will then go out and try to do GD by the seat of their pants and end up doing the guessing game. I sometimes think that some instructors, and many students/clinic participants, would be better off if the instructor had never heard of GD.

Thank you for your responses,
yd
post #80 of 168
ydnar,

Perhaps I could expound on Joan's earlier example of guided discovery. You will notice that this little sequence would not take more than 10-15 minutes of a classes time and by no means is a whole lesson plan but merely an exercise in self discovery.

You notice that students in your class as a whole are having difficulty with there fore/aft balance. So you, pull out one of your guided discovery tricks out of your bag. First you draw a lovely outline of a foot on the snow complete with toes. To get the ball rolling you preface this drawing by asking the class to guess what it is you are drawing? Hopefully someone in the group guesses correctly that you in fact drew a foot. Then by pointing at or circling the ball of the foot area have the students rock forward in their boots till they feel all the pressure on this area and their heels come up off the bottoms. Then have them rock back as you point/circle the heel of your foot to feel all the pressure on their heels with the toes off the bottom......Now let's make a few turns down the hill with all our weight on the toes. You ask them to take notice if it is easier or more difficult to start a turn or finish a turn with the weight on their toes? Everyone spreads out and trys this task at once and regroups a short distance down the slope. You then ask for their feedback. Next let's ski down with all the weight on our heels and answer the same question? You gather their feedback. Then you have them ski down with even weight on the fronts and backs of their feet. You regroup and ask how that felt? Which of the three ways felt the best? Well now, let's try this again only this time since you said the turns were easier to start with weight on the toes and easier to finish with weight on the heels, let's combine them by starting turns with pressure on our toes and move to the middle in the middle of the turns and move our weight to the heels at the end of the turns!


This is a classic example of guided discovery that has a specific goal and is easily guided to the desired conclusion. Once you do it once it is easily repeated. I particularly like this example because it also gets students "thinking with their feet" not their brains. Questions are specific to the desired outcome and easily redirected or task repeated with more specific focus if neccessary. The most difficult part for the instructor is drawing a good foot in the snow but with practice this can be achieved by all but the most artistically challenged.
post #81 of 168
I totally agree with Ydnar WRT guided discovery and reciprocal. I've experienced both, in recent years in clinics and courses, and they are desperately frustrating experiences. GD is invariably "guess my mystical secret" (oh shut up and TEACH me something!), and reciprocal always seems to me to be a way of killing time in the lesson. It ususally peters off into nothing, too.
post #82 of 168
Bud, is that the "real" guided discovery? cos that's closer to how I teach. I like to explore a concept with them and use a number of different things to get them to feel and use a 'thing', often going outside it, so they can feel and understand the difference between "the thing" and "not the thing".

But that's in no way similar to the "guess my secret" crap so many teachers and trainers put me through!
post #83 of 168
Just thoughts on paper/keyboard.....

1) Watch/observe,
2) Imagine sensation/goal in minds eye,
3) Do/feel/experience,
4) verbalize/analyze the outcome

I put forth this as my perceived sequence to learning best, Do others' learning sequences differ? I guess I can listen to or read some description first (ie: ski forum) then imagine in my mind's eye the sensation I would feel then do it.

a) read it/verbalize it
b) imagine sensation/goal in mind's eye
c)do/feel/experience

It seems that the important part is to ultimately "do and feel" and recogize that what you are experiencing is the desired goal/result? External feedback from a coach or teacher would anchor and validate that the desire outcome was achieved. This is why it is important for an instructor/coach to give positive feedback quickly when a desired outcome is achieved to help anchor that particular sensation/movement. Though, once one is an experienced learner in a discipline they should be able to self monitor and evaluate their own outcomes?

It would seem to me that "thinkers" need help to "feel" or open the pathway to their feet in order to learn. Sometimes serious thinkers have difficulty doing this (athletically challenged) possibly?
post #84 of 168
A serious thinker need not be athletically challenged. I know that for sure.

You are right that the pathway to feeling needs to be opened.

But why is it not already open? Why do thinkers have difficulty feeling?

Because they rely primarily on their mental model.

If their mental model is incorrect, then what they are expecting and what they are experiencing are two different things. They remain determined to feel what they think they ought to feel given the way they think the moves are to be performed.

This difference is often the cause of the serious thinker skiing like a statue. It's hard work to convince yourself you are actually moving as you think you are.

Your Watch,Visualize/Imagine,Do/Feel, Analyze stream is how a "watcher" would learn.

A thinker does it like this: Think, Imagine, Do, Analyze.

Feel is not necessarily in the list. But for real learning you have to get it in there somehow. You can tell a thinker exactly that. They cannot disagree.

The analyze step is often done just by looking at the tracks the thinker has left. eg. was I carving? Lets look at the track. Then the thinking skier will ask of themselves: "Why the tails slide out here?"

Often it's blamed on poor snow conditions or their skis. If you are lucky, they will start to sense what they are doing. This is the door to feeling, but the thinker is a long way off still.

Feeling often begins by use of another sense. Perhaps by listening: hearing the skidding. Perhaps visually by watching what their shadow is doing. This will happen before they start actually feeling what they are doing.

Only when feeling starts can you begin shaping the thinkers mental model.

It is your job to ensure they feel the right things. To be effective, the instructor MUST guide the thinker into a correct analysis. The analysis must include how it felt. Guided discovery is difficult, because a thinker can often provide the exact right answer and have felt nothing.

IMO, the best way to teach a thinker is to describe the overall intent (provide a framework), and then make baby steps to create components. Ensure that they are focussed on feeling the right component of each and every movement.

Remember, it is not easy to coerce a thinker to change their mental model. They spent a long time working on it already, and are not about to admit error. Thinkers pride themselves on thinking up the right anwers.

Change must be their idea.

To help them, the thinker needs to know EXACTLY on which sensation they will focus in each and every drill. The word "relax" should be used a lot. Drills that focus on relaxed postures and sensing body position/pressures are very key.

You can tell a thinker flat out that your goal is to help align their mental model of skiing with what is actually happening when they ski. It's my experience that thinkers love that approach!
post #85 of 168
BigE

I think that you are making to big of an assumption about thinkers not being able to feel. I know that I am a thinker/feeler and have met many who are like me. We are able to apply our thinking side to the sensations we are experencing. Further, I have never had a problem getting a thinker to get in touch with the sensations of skiing and apply their mental focus to that aspect of skiing.

This idea of learning types is another of those aspects of educational theory that have been addopted by the ski instruction world and blown out of proportion giving new instructors the idea that a learner of one type can't learn in other ways. The human animal can learn in all modes. One might work better for them than the others but I constantly run into this idea that people are very one sided in their learning type and it just ain't true. Watching is my least perfered learning type but I am constantly learning by this method as well as the others.

yd
post #86 of 168
Yd,


My assumption is that some thinkers use thinking as their primary method of learning.

A bit of background:

I am nearly a pure thinker, and as I age become more and more of a thinker and less of a feeler. As a kid, and young adult, I was a feeler.

Fortunately, I have re-discovered how to feel. I now MUST feel to learn; I am constantly in search of the "right" feeling. The other methods of learning (thinking/watching/doing) are things that guide my learning process.

It took years for me to link sensations with clearly understood actions. I have seen many like me. Darn good athletes, that have a real hard time picking up new tricks. In my particular case, I had to first be comfortable with skiing WRONG in order to slow the mind down long enough to see and feel that I was actually skiing WRONG! It took a very long time to realize that my mental model and my actions were miles apart. I even thought I was feeling the correct sensations at that time.

For us hard-core thinkers, it takes a LOT of effort to invoke the right feelings. But once they are there, we stop thinking altogether and enjoy the sensations. It gives us a break from the unrelenting analysis and chatter that is otherwise occupying the mind. That is another reason why singing or humming helps for us -- it is a distraction. ( At the age of 12 I used to hum while playing hockey. )

Had I originally learned to skk with a recipe approach, and well defined progressions I would have been better off. A linear approach to learning how to ski (like I imagine PMTS to be) would be easier for a narrow minded individual like myself.

I think that there is an age factor with respect to holistic or linear teaching as well.

My older kid is a feeler/watcher. The younger is a doer/feeler, like the eldest used to be. As they are aging, I see a change in their learning styles.
post #87 of 168
Big E and Yd,

Have a look at my post of May 9th at 5:51. I have described our Teaching for Experiential Model that we are using. I think it addresses what you are discussing. See what you think of it.

Joan
post #88 of 168
Excuse me, it's our Teaching for Experiential Learning model..

Sorry..
post #89 of 168

Hi Joan

Afternoon Ms. Heaton,

Got the boat in the lake yet?

Thanks for your participation, you will be a great asset to this forum. (Joan and I taught together at Huntah and shared a ski house for a few years in ancient times.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Heaton

In Guided Discovery, the move is toward a "process-centered" teaching procedure. The style embodies a process of systematically getting to a target. It is actually a process of training students to use selection procedures in making small decisions in a definite sequence. In this sequence, there are questions, clues, or outcomes (tasks) arranged in a manner, which slowly, gradually, and securely lead the student to the answer (a fact, a concept, or a particular outcome). Each step in the sequence is based on the response/task/outcome in the previous step. There is only one answer and the teacher is responsible for leading the students to discover it

Question, clues, or tasks/outcomes are formulated so that a minimum number of alternative responses are possible. In preparation, the teacher needs to anticipate all possible responses. If the clue evokes too many responses, the clue needs reworking. A smaller step, closer to the previous one, will help to minimize the number of responses. Serious failure among the students to respond properly indicates inadequate design of the clues or the sequence as a whole. And, indeed, when this failure of the students’ inability to respond properly occurs, the process does become a guessing game. Remember just because a teacher ‘asks questions’ does not mean that Guided Discovery is being used. Remember, Guided Discovery is a series of clues concerned with one topic. These clues gradually lead the student to the one answer already known by the teacher.
A question for you. I was floating around in one of my PGA manuals today, avoiding house cleaning as long as I can and came across an interesting teaching concept. "Barrel-filling", providing the student with new thoughts and experiences and "barrel-drawing", pulling out out what the student already knows but may not realize or understand. I would believe GD could encompass either-would you concur? (It's in appendix 5-B Nolo)

One other thought (paraphrasing) I ran across is that teaching is communication from the mind of the instructor to the body of the student. I really like that thought.
post #90 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan Heaton
Big E and Yd,

Have a look at my post of May 9th at 5:51. I have described our Teaching for Experiential Model that we are using. I think it addresses what you are discussing. See what you think of it.

Joan
OK, I re-read it, and think I understand it. The experiential model encompasses exactly what I think is "good instruction". Thanks for posting it.

Quote:
2. Second, the student(s), with the help of the instructor observes the activity/task and reflects upon the feelings/sensations that are associated with the ‘actual’ outcome as they relate to the ‘desired’ outcome. These observations and reflections lead to the recognition of what happens relative to the desired outcome.
IMO, this is the most likely place that this instruction can break down. It requires certainty that your student(s) 'actual' outcome is actually being felt, and that they do not confuse it with the 'desired' outcome. How many times does one hear: But I am flexing!!!!!

Sure YOU can tell if they are doing it right or wrong, but THEY might not be able to. So long as they have labelled a particular incorrect sensation as being an indicator of success, you're talking to a wall.

You'll have to bring out something from your "bag of tricks" that can ONLY be done in one way, that will ALWAYS give the correct sensations, and that is EASY to do properly.

In short, the fall back position is a linear methodology.

I believe that there is a critical mass required before a holistic approach can work. The skier first needs a certain level of confidence, ability in their movements, and familiarity with the resulting sensations before a holistic approach is useful.

To my understanding, each approach is best suited for different tasks.

Linear: filling the toolbox with basic skills.
Holistic: Exploring what you can do with those tools.

Neither linear nor holistic teaching provides a "magic bullet" that lets you instruct in one way ONLY.
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