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Matching teaching styles to specific maneuvers

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Do some maneuvers lend themselves to certain teaching styles? A recent thread about transitions prompted me to ask this question because I feel there are a lot of maneuvers that are best learned in a doer mode verses a verbal or written mode. Conversely there are quite a few that lend themselves to a verbal teaching style. Others require a problem solving approach. While reciprocal learning fits quite nicely with other maneuvers.
Deciding which style to use is a personal choice but are there some suggested combinations of teaching/learning styles that will help present an idea best.

Obviously transitions are IMO best tought using a doer style presentation/progression. Exploring and experiencing how it feels to move from one edge to the next.
Moguls come to mind as another touch and feel (doer) lesson plan because the snow surface is so variable. Reacting to those variations is the key to balancing, while allowing us to make tactical choices like line and speed.
So which method would you use to teach carving? Skidding? Wedges? ETC...
post #2 of 12
Very good topic JASP.

When working with a group there will be a number of varying approaches needed to ensure that each student comes to understand the task he/she is being asked to perform, and various methods for helping each student achieve success in their attempt.

For some, a verbal description of the task will suffice. Others will require a visual demo. Some will need both,,, and others will require even further efforts to help them comprehend what we're asking of them, and how to go about doing it. Some become overloaded and confused with too detailed and specific instructions up front. Others depend on them. It's actually kind of fun as an instructor trying to figure out the unique learning puzzle each individual student presents.

Self discovery is great, and it can be employed in many forms. Some drills carry very specific movement requirements, such as many of those I introduced in the transitions thread. But even within those drills lies the opportunity to exploit the benefits of allowing the student to discover on their own how to successfully accomplish certain drill objectives, and to self discover the sensation differences of the new movement pattern. An example would be the transition speed variation drills, in which much can be done with self discovery in learning how to alter cross over speed, and in self analyzing the the benefits and shortcomings of each variation.

My standard methodology is to initially offer the minimal info students need to understand and attempt a given drill, then supplement with additional hints when needed to help them achieve the objectives and refine their performance. It's a methodology that leaves much room for modification to allow for individual student need.

Also, JASP, I employ a self designed teaching methodology that is very non conventional. I teach a very broad skill base all the way up the learning progression ladder,,, one that develops in each skill area the students ability to skin the same cat in many ways. Doing this requires my making very clear to the student the unique elements of each variation I teach, which can limit, to a degree, the opportunities for self discovery. But it doesn't eliminate them, and I always exploit what opportunities exist because I really believe it helps students internalize and connect with what they're learning.
post #3 of 12
Im with Rick here. I also put the student in the spotlight and try to adapt the teaching method to his personal needs. If he is a doer I will let him ski a lot but if he likes to talk and get stuff explained to him in detail 90% of the lesson I will do that. Age plays a major role, kidds usually dont like to get stuff explained to them while adults do.
post #4 of 12
I don't think you can assign any one teaching approach to any one movement or movement pattern. Every case is as individual as the person doing the instructing and the person receiving the instructions.
post #5 of 12
Like Kneale, I think it is as vaired as the student. how we get the student to understand what to try, how to try it, and when to try is where the individual learning learning styles show up. Because skiing is something we "DO", doing will always be the ultimate learning experience for all of us. At least this is how I see it.

The only way I can see categorizing tasks and exercises into learning styles is maybe on how easy they are to accomplish, versus how much explanation and trial they need.

Kids still exhibit different learning preferences just like adults, yet we will all probably agree that kids like the least explanation and the most exploration and doing. I think it has to do with lack of mental baggage, and preconceptions. But that could be a whole thread of it's own. Later, RicB.
post #6 of 12
JASP,

Rick hinted at this, but with a group of students you typically need to tecah to multiple learning styles whatever the task is. You're going to choose tasks to let the students discover skills, you're going to describe them, you're going to describe what they should be feeling, you're going to show them what it looks like and then they do it.

As you get to know your group better, you will direct specific pieces of the multiple approaches to specific students. The watcher follows right behind you. The thinker gets the explanation first to think about it. And so on.

For individuals, I generally don't think of tasks as good for one specific teaching style. I think of styles as different ways to teaching the tasks. A on the ground 360 (flat spin) is a good example. What a great way to teach weight transfer via guided discovery. Some people all you have to do is show them and they'll do it with no explanation. A flat spin is great for experiencing different feelings from the feet. But some people can only do it after you explain it step by step.

But there are a few exceptions. When teaching a beginner, the "come here" task is a great guided discovery task. For an advanced skier, when dealing with cruddy snow and wobbly ski tips, the "don't do that" guided discovery task can be quite funny and effective.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good responses guys! Like you, in a group environment getting through to everyone requires my figuring out how best to initiate the learning segment for each student. Yes everyone has a unique learning bias and customizing your presentations helps them process the information you are presenting. Add your individual teaching biases to the mix and things get interesting very quickly.

However, as a lesson evolves do you remain in that one mode for the rest of the lesson? I would suggest that rarely happens. The reason for this is that at some point the lesson comes down to performing a new maneuver (experiential learning), or at least a different way of doing the same maneuver (skills blend changes). If you started in a verbal mode you cannot remain there, the ending point is performance (movement) based. If you are visual, no amount of watching replaces the actions done by the students (which is still movement based).

Bridging that gap between the starting style and the finishing style is what I am talking about. This "evolution" requires us to lead the student towards an outcome. If they leave with a clear understanding but are unable to perform the movements you suggested, then how effective has that lesson really been? Bottom line thinking for sure but helping our students improve that bottom line is the sole purpose of our services.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
This "evolution" requires us to lead the student towards an outcome. If they leave with a clear understanding but are unable to perform the movements you suggested, then how effective has that lesson really been? Bottom line thinking for sure but helping our students improve that bottom line is the sole purpose of our services.

JASP - I've been there many times.... understood but not able to do.... many times it took the multiple understandings fo various angles from various instructors for me to put enough pieces together to be able to START to do the movement.....
Setting what YOU think the outcome SHOULD be can be frustrating for student/instructor if it is NOT achieved..... goalposts need to be able to be "soft" and shift as desired/needed....

BTW - I have also managed to get a staatliche(aussie examiner) to state that I had just managed to totally foil the anticipated outcome of every one of the exercises he KNEW to teach a certain movement.... He needed to totally re think the whole thing - I simply did the "wrong" thing for every exercise he could envisage as useful
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Disski,
Who said anything about setting an artificial goal for the student. Goal setting is an interactive activity. We (student and teacher) collectively define goals on many levels not just a final goal. Additionally, when we work together towards ownership of a movement/maneuver it is not a linear learning activity. So even if it takes several days/weeks of work, the final outcome is still the same.
The ability to perform a movement "on demand" takes a lot more than grasping the theory. Until you can perform the maneuver, you do not completely understand it.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
goalposts need to be able to be "soft" and shift as desired/needed....
I like that. So true.

As instructors we know where we're trying to take a student, but sometimes we need to take some back roads to get there.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
Disski,
The ability to perform a movement "on demand" takes a lot more than grasping the theory. Until you can perform the maneuver, you do not completely understand it.
i would say i do not own it until I can perform/modify/ and KNOW when to use it....

owning is not the same as no effective learning until I do it
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Disski,
That is what on demand means. Of course as you modify that maneuver you will continue to discover all of the permutations and which would be appropriate for the turn you are doing. Then as you perform the next turn it all changes again and you need to adapt to that change. Racers have understood this for a very long time. Learn outside the course, use it appropriately in the course. Learned responses with very little thought about how but a lot of focus on where and when.
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