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Old 05-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #17
Location: Wolcott Vermont
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 36
Re: Teaching Aikido, an Aiki perspective

Been thinking about this for a while. Was going to start a thread...but this one is here already :-).

What does a "Teacher" have to do with Learning? Probably not much, in most cases....

"Learning" begins with a discovery made by the Learner, and resolves as the Learner integrates that discovery such that they are able to apply their new understanding or skill without self-consciousness.

If a Learner is seeking knowledge, they may make important discoveries simply by listening to (or reading) the words of a "teacher". Or by observing and emulating a "teacher's" actions. Or someone else's actions.

But there can be more to it than that.

A person who can truly be called a "Teacher" really does about 4 things:
1) inspires curiosity,
2) encourages an attitude of investigation that leads to discovery,
3) to the extent possible, constructs situations for Students where the students are likely to make discoveries. They may influence the environment so that there's lots to discover - by delivering a lecture, for instance; or just by doing something that they are damn good at. Or they may influence a student so that the student feels the lack of a particular piece of understanding and becomes more energetic in their investigation to discover what they haven't yet found - assigning homework, providing new challenges on the mat, etc.

4) A competent teacher also assists students in assimilating what they've discovered. This is perhaps the hardest work of "teaching", as everyone has different capacity for assimilation in any given time period, even for one individual it varies by circumstance.

KEY POINT: Assimilation is almost exclusively accomplished through the activity of the student - if the student is sitting and listening to the teacher, assimilation probably isn't happening, and the "teacher" is ... not teaching, but just enjoying their time in the limelight, taking advantage of their audience. There's many people who call themselves teachers, but they're just talkers...Doesn't matter how good they are at XYZ, talking is NOT teaching. (at least not in and of itself).

In summary: If you wish to learn, then examine the process by which you make new discoveries - and more importantly - the process by which you move from discovery thru assimilation to expression. If you understand this for yourself, then *maybe* you are prepared to take up the intention to help others in their process. If you don't understand and honor the process of learning, then please don't call yourself a teacher.
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