Jun Akiyama wrote:
In other words, I truly believe there are ways of helping people learn certain things better.
Well, I can't argue with that.
One of the things that impressed me in watching Nadeau Sensei lead basics classes is that his focus on taking time to experience "how it feels" and try to experience/embody it more fully is accepted by newbies as just an intrinsic and normal part of the learning process, like how to kneel on the mat and roll over. He is quite explicit that feeling/doing is more essential than watching/thinking. So there is a message being conveyed from day one that being "in the body" with as much attention to how it feels as to what the form looks like, is the norm.
I honestly don't know if it is pedagogically more or less "effective" than any other particular approach.
For instance, I believe there is much to be said for Chuck Clark's kata based approach, because -- from the little exposure to it that I've had -- from the very start there is an understanding that the movements are to be done in a relaxed, non-posturing way. This would seem to me to also build in a "muscle memory" of feeling what it is to move with that in the body way.
Of course, either of the above teaching approaches, if "mimicked" by somebody, could easily be done and taught in counterproductive ways--leading to the question, is it ultimately the method or the teacher?