View Full Version : Responsibility in Learning

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graham christian
04-03-2013, 08:05 AM
Following on from my last thread I thought I'd add my views on what I call Responsibility in learning.

Probably different from anything you have heard before but hey, who cares.

It's actually based on three things I talk about spiritually namely soul, spirit and heart so that's just to inform you how it comes from a basic foundation I use.

But back to the point. The first concept I am going to give is that of you are responsible for three parts of yourself in study. You are responsible for three 'people' within yourself.

The first of these is the student. So being a student you are responsible for that part of you which is the student. This actually comes from the heart, from love, but nonetheless it is but one part of three.

The second 'person' within yourself when studying you are responsible for is the teacher. This is spirit. As in my Aikido philosophy spirit is both non resistance and the weilder of the sword. Spirit is the discipline, the rule giver, the no excuses informer of what to do. Do being the operative word.

So you listen to the teacher external to you but then its up to the teacher in you to make you do it.

So then we have 'person' number three. The supervisor. This is soul. The third part of you supervises all you are doing and thus when progressing well soul is happy. Supervisor is happy.

Each operates from different rules. Supervisor operates from good. Thus supervisor in life is your own conscience and so it is also in learning. Supervisor may pull up the teacher and say 'hey, your being a bit too hard on the student' then again supervisor may pull up the teacher and say 'hey you're being too lazy and not doing your job we need more discipline here!'

Therefor each and every person is a student, a teacher and a supervisor Self to self.


04-05-2013, 12:06 PM
I never considered a 3rd part. I've long considered myself to be both teacher and student. "If one ceases to be a student, one will cease to be a teacher'. I often remind my students during class that they are my teachers. And at the end of each class, I thank them all for teaching me. The third "part" is an interesting view, though...

graham christian
04-05-2013, 02:26 PM
Thanks Todd.
I found this personally very rewarding and helpful on my path of teaching. So I encouraged the view especially of teacher and student and that you are both in my students and it led to much more responsibility on their part. So I encouraged communication between them when they get stuck to work through things and help each other.

Then when they are really stuck and looking over to me for help then I go to them knowing they have been trying their best as students and then sharing their opinions and trying to teach, usually the one without the problem then tries to teach the other and the other then puts in the discipline but to no avail.

Now the difference is I approach from a supervisor angle. Thus a prime place to come from is calmness. This means I listen and oversee what they are doing and observe how they are doing it and basically agree with them how the result isn't good. Then enter the field of correction. Point out the principle which is missing or body positioning or geometric dimention etc. and that's all part of supervision. Then if I actually take over and run through things personally taking them as uke to show them then I am back to teaching.

Teacher alone may the the qualities of 'just do it' attitude and just follow the rules and discipline and straightforward face and do whilst supervisor has the qualities of extreme patience and calmness yet at the same time alert to all that is not optimum and ready to step in when correction is needed.

Thus I find all three work together and depend on each other so to speak.

We do the same when we learn anything even baking a cake. We may study and teach ourselves via a recipe book and practice making a cake but always we have the supervisor looking at the result telling us if that's good enough or not.


04-05-2013, 11:00 PM
Basically, we're both doing the same thing. The only difference i see is that you're breaking the role of "teacher" into various parts based on which action is being performed at the time. Whereas, I perceive all those things as simply being a good sensei. I've witnessed excellent teachers who couldn't "perform" what they were teaching and incredible martial artists who were dreadful teachers. Much like any martial art there must be a balance between the martial and the art, i believe, there must be a balance between teacher, student, and artist. Again, i feel we're saying and emphasizing the same "values", only from different perspectives and terminologies. i like and agree w/ your goals in teaching, i just approach it from a different angle and view point. Much like discussing the finer points of a kote-gaeshi, there is always something to be learned form another's thought process:)

graham christian
04-06-2013, 03:48 AM
Yes indeed:) Thanks for your thoughts.