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Old 12-30-2008, 07:26 PM   #26
Joe McParland
 
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Re: a teaching mistake

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post

So Shannon, if one does that...how does anyone learn anythng? What's the parable Christ said about casting seeds on rocks.....?
Oy---a talking rock!

Don't lose sight of what is being taught in this instance, Gene.

Last edited by Joe McParland : 12-30-2008 at 07:32 PM. Reason: quote block mishap

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Old 01-01-2009, 07:53 AM   #27
Amir Krause
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Re: a teaching mistake

Quote:
Clarence Couch wrote: View Post
So Shannon, if one does that...how does anyone learn anythng? What's the parable Christ said about casting seeds on rocks.....?
As the original poster, of that suggestion. I suggest that you remember the role of the person doing the mistakes at that moment: He is the teacher, not a student.

It is wrong for the teacher to FOCUS on his own learning while demonstrating in front of the class. At that time his main role is TEACHING. Letting the students sit on the sides, until the teacher figures out how to perform a technique is a waste of their learning time and attention. Further, at times, the solution to a specific problem might not be easy to generalize to other situations, or inappropriate for the students level.

Perhaps I should have clarified the teacher should as some later time go on and practice to weed out the mistakes on his own (with some partner).
I would also clarify that teaching is a way of learning, but the process is not the same as learning on your own.

Amir

Last edited by akiy : 01-04-2009 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Fix quotes
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:11 AM   #28
John Matsushima
 
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Re: a teaching mistake

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
As the original poster, of that suggestion. I suggest that you remember the role of the person doing the mistakes at that moment: He is the teacher, not a student.

It is wrong for the teacher to FOCUS on his own learning while demonstrating in front of the class. At that time his main role is TEACHING. Letting the students sit on the sides, until the teacher figures out how to perform a technique is a waste of their learning time and attention. Further, at times, the solution to a specific problem might not be easy to generalize to other situations, or inappropriate for the students level.

Perhaps I should have clarified the teacher should as some later time go on and practice to weed out the mistakes on his own (with some partner).
I would also clarify that teaching is a way of learning, but the process is not the same as learning on your own.

Amir
I agree with Amir. Let us not forget that the students are paying MONEY for quality instruction, not to watch someone make mistakes. A teacher has a responsibility to the students to do his job. I think I'd be pretty upset if I went to a restaurant and the chef was busy making mistakes and learning how to do his job while making my meal. I wouldn't expect a high school teacher or college professor to be fumbling through the books and trying to figure stuff out while teaching either. Yes, people do make mistakes, but let's don't make this out to be more than what it is - get over it and do it right.

Last edited by akiy : 01-04-2009 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Fix quotes

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:07 AM   #29
Stefan Hultberg
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Re: a teaching mistake

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John Matsushima wrote: View Post
I agree with Amir. Let us not forget that the students are paying MONEY for quality instruction, not to watch someone make mistakes. A teacher has a responsibility to the students to do his job. I think I'd be pretty upset if I went to a restaurant and the chef was busy making mistakes and learning how to do his job while making my meal. I wouldn't expect a high school teacher or college professor to be fumbling through the books and trying to figure stuff out while teaching either. Yes, people do make mistakes, but let's don't make this out to be more than what it is - get over it and do it right.
I do agree with the get over it/get on with it bit. As for the rest I'm not so sure, yes people expect to be taught correct techniques or, at least, correct aikido. My point is - no technique works for everybody on everybody all the time. Not to become too quantum Physicee about things, but the general chaos nature of our reality ensures that this is the case. Therefore, the technique that fails is a true representation of a realistic possibility which opens up a discussion about why the technique works and why it can go wrong. Furthermore, I think, based on my view that the world isn't allways full of sunshine, that it is a really good thing to sometimes work with the question - ok, I tried this technique and it didn't work, now what?? One failed technique can be the opening chapter for the next one, or the next.

I believe showing that techniques can and do fail is to teach honest aikido.

Many best wishes

Last edited by akiy : 01-04-2009 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Fix quotes
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:06 PM   #30
Rocky Izumi
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Re: a teaching mistake

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
As the original poster, of that suggestion. I suggest that you remember the role of the person doing the mistakes at that moment: He is the teacher, not a student.

It is wrong for the teacher to FOCUS on his own learning while demonstrating in front of the class. At that time his main role is TEACHING. Letting the students sit on the sides, until the teacher figures out how to perform a technique is a waste of their learning time and attention. Further, at times, the solution to a specific problem might not be easy to generalize to other situations, or inappropriate for the students level.

Perhaps I should have clarified the teacher should as some later time go on and practice to weed out the mistakes on his own (with some partner).
I would also clarify that teaching is a way of learning, but the process is not the same as learning on your own.

Amir
Hi Amir,

I have to disagree here because teaching is a way of learning. While I agree that fumbling around is not part of the role of teaching, if you don't take the opportunity to learn during teaching, I think the instructor is wasting important time and a chance for the students to learn. The important thing to do is not to fumble around but to recover immediately and without hesitation, without changing to another technique. An important part of doing Aikido is to learn to be able to adapt to situations as they present themselves and to continue on with the movement to which you have committed yourself. In doing so, you should learn what about the different types of situations that present themselves so that next time, you will be able to assess the situation more correctly.

When you become a professional instructor, you often do not have the chance to go and practice with some other person to "weed out" mistakes or to learn to deal with "what ifs." You have to learn to do that on the fly. But, I do agree with you that "fumbling around" is not suitable as the students will lose respect for you. You have to be able to make adjustments as you go to deal with any "mistakes" that you make. In that sense, I do agree that the instructor needs to be sufficiently versed in the principles of Aikido to adjust with the needs of the situation.

I guess what I don't like is the response of some where if the technique doesn't seem to be working, the instructor changes up the technique and says, "Well, if you do that, I can just change techniques to do this one." If the instructor is capable, and he or she should be, the technique should be adjusted to deal with the specific case or the instructor should have been aware enough to not try such a technique on that specific Uke. You don't go around letting professional boxers have the first punch.

That said, in many cases, the instructor at a dojo is often the "one-eyed man in a country of blind men." And the instructor may not have the ability to adapt to different situations. In that case, it is often the case that the person teaching something is just learning about that at the same time. Thirty years and I am still trying to figure out Ikkyo and all the principles it contains. So every time I am up in front teaching, I am still learning something new every time I use a new Uke. Yes, what I do may be what you call a good application of Ikkyo but I may not be satisfied and feel that I made a mistake that needs to be corrected by continuing to demonstrate the technique a couple more times, each time correcting the initial error. You, nor the Uke, may not see the error but I know it was there. Errors are relative. What is important is to not let the error nor the correction get in the way of teaching.

Rock

Last edited by akiy : 01-04-2009 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Fix quotes
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:39 PM   #31
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: a teaching mistake

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Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
That said, in many cases, the instructor at a dojo is often the "one-eyed man in a country of blind men."
That's me!
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:25 AM   #32
Joe McParland
 
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Re: a teaching mistake

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Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
I guess what I don't like is the response of some where if the technique doesn't seem to be working, the instructor changes up the technique and says, "Well, if you do that, I can just change techniques to do this one." If the instructor is capable, and he or she should be, the technique should be adjusted to deal with the specific case or the instructor should have been aware enough to not try such a technique on that specific Uke. You don't go around letting professional boxers have the first punch.
I think there's a balance to be struck on this point. I tell students not to be "married to" performing a particular technique, to recognize when it is not working and move along. On the other hand, that should not be an opening for the student to avoid learning a technique properly; in this case, trying to "make it work" is part of exploring the technique.

It's a personal preference that I generally penalize "getting stuck" more than I do inability to make a technique work.

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Old 01-05-2009, 02:59 PM   #33
Rocky Izumi
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Re: a teaching mistake

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Joe McParland wrote: View Post
I think there's a balance to be struck on this point. I tell students not to be "married to" performing a particular technique, to recognize when it is not working and move along. On the other hand, that should not be an opening for the student to avoid learning a technique properly; in this case, trying to "make it work" is part of exploring the technique.

It's a personal preference that I generally penalize "getting stuck" more than I do inability to make a technique work.
I guess it must be my personal preference but I guess I feel that getting stuck is what should happen if you are pushing yourself to work on difficulties. For that reason, I usually request my partners to resist as hard as they can. That means I sometimes do get stuck during practice because of some error I made. That happens even during demonstration of a technique.

I figure that it is important that students see the instructor pushing to deal with more and more difficult situations and sometimes getting stuck so that they don't think that they should only practice those things that work for them all the time. If you do that and only demonstrate those things that work all the time, you might stop growing. Very likely, the students will also stop growing because they will model their behaviour on yours. They will learn to switch up to a technique that they can do on their partner when their partner is too difficult to handle with something they should be practicing. I see it all the time in Dojos where the practice ends up becoming "AikiDancing."

Yes, I do understand that there is a time for cooperative practice when you are just learning the fundamental motions so that you can move on to practicing the principles. At the same time, it bothers me to see people practicing motions without working on the principles that allow the practitioner to overcome the difficult situations. I keep on seeing people practicing techniques over and over without any understanding of the underlying principles so that they are actually practicing the wrong thing. These people are practicing things that would not work in a situation where the other person is not being cooperative.

Okay, I've had my say and I will leave it there.

Thanks,

Rock
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:17 PM   #34
Joe McParland
 
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Re: a teaching mistake

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Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
I guess it must be my personal preference but I guess I feel that getting stuck is what should happen if you are pushing yourself to work on difficulties. For that reason, I usually request my partners to resist as hard as they can. That means I sometimes do get stuck during practice because of some error I made. That happens even during demonstration of a technique.

I figure that it is important that students see the instructor pushing to deal with more and more difficult situations and sometimes getting stuck so that they don't think that they should only practice those things that work for them all the time. If you do that and only demonstrate those things that work all the time, you might stop growing. Very likely, the students will also stop growing because they will model their behaviour on yours. They will learn to switch up to a technique that they can do on their partner when their partner is too difficult to handle with something they should be practicing. I see it all the time in Dojos where the practice ends up becoming "AikiDancing."

Yes, I do understand that there is a time for cooperative practice when you are just learning the fundamental motions so that you can move on to practicing the principles. At the same time, it bothers me to see people practicing motions without working on the principles that allow the practitioner to overcome the difficult situations. I keep on seeing people practicing techniques over and over without any understanding of the underlying principles so that they are actually practicing the wrong thing. These people are practicing things that would not work in a situation where the other person is not being cooperative.

Okay, I've had my say and I will leave it there.

Thanks,

Rock
Ah---I see your perspective a little better now, I think. Rest assured that I'm not talking about cooperative practice My "don't get stuck" advisory generally comes after your uke has actively found your technique's weakness and has confounded you by returning to a stable posture, changing the attack, or reversing your defense. The objective of that set is definitely to polish the demonstrated technique, so having to change out midstream is something of a failure, but a good lesson: note how things went wrong, work with your uke, and fix it after that encounter is complete---don't stop the encounter prematurely; see it through to the end: adjust what you're doing to finish the technique, switch techniques appropriately, or create distance and disengage.

I'll generally only stop that give-and-take if a pair starts to slip into too much wrestling with each other. I want them to see where the aikido part ended and the wrestling began, and sometimes to see if they can recover back into aikido.

I get the feeling we're mostly agreed, just examining from opposite sides. The dojo is certainly the right place to iron out the difficulties---putting techniques under the microscope as well as working on not getting stuck---and it all only makes sense if there's meat to the practice

Thanks for the discussion, Rock.

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Old 01-06-2009, 02:51 PM   #35
Rocky Izumi
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Re: a teaching mistake

Appreciate your comments Joe. Good place to polish the theory through examination of your own biases and testing out your ideas on others with experience.

Enjoyed having my say and listening back. I see your point too. Yeah, different sides of the same coin, etc. Or perhaps Omote and Ura?

Rock
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