Re: Kinesthetic Learning
I only passed my shodan a week ago and have very little teaching experience in aikido (though I have quite a bit of experience in teaching English and other stuff to adults), but as I have just started to give the second beginnerīs course in our dojo I have been thinking about how to develop the different ways of learning in the students, too.
I think that kinestetic learning has a lot to do with how good oneīs body awareness is (though I am not sure whatīs there first - like chicken and egg, if you know what I mean), so lately I have started to experiment with exercises that will hopefully help the students to get a better feeling for their bodies. I basically do a very simple version of a relaxation thingy called after a guy named Jacobsen: The students lie down flat on their backs, get comfortable and close their eyes. I then tell them to really tense all the muscles in their right arm, hold it for about 2 mins and then relax it. It is important to talk them through the whole thing and to really get them to go into the relaxation, experience what the difference between tension and relaxation feels like, try to feel every muscle, etc. We go through every major body part in that way.
For visual learning, I sometimes change the way I demo the techniques, like sometimes I will talk a bit more and sometimes I will just do the technique several times without saying a word, and then I will ask them "what did I do with my feet/hands?" or I simply let them get on with it.
This is just for beginners and I canīt tell if any of this would help more experienced students at all and maybe you guys have been using stuff like this already anyway. I would really love to hear if any of you had any other ways of helping students to fully use and develop all of the possible learning capacities. It seems to be an interesting topic.