10 Steps to Dramatically Increase Pedagogical Efficiency
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10 Steps to Dramatically Increase Pedagogical Efficiency
Teach Students the Difference Between Hearing and Listening: Hearing is the passive absorption of information given by an educator. Listening is the pursuit of actively of trying to understand and internalize the information given by an educator. The distinguishment between Hearing and Listening must be taught from the onset of the educational process. The skill of Listening, especially Analytical Listening must be a major focal point of teaching over the entire duration of instruction.
Teachers Must Address Performance Anxiety: Performance anxiety manifests itself differently, at different levels of intensity, and at different ages with students. Basically, Performance Anxiety is a very common but irrational fear of trying to the best of one’s ability due to social anxiety. This a very common phenomenon amongst student, especially starting around the age of 8yrs old. In the mind of a student, if he/she gives his/her very best effort and fails, it is somehow worse than giving minimal effort and failing. An educator must make every effort to convincingly convey to his/her students that all measures of personal success derive from failure. Students move up from zero.
Teach Students to Compare Themselves to Themselves: This is congruent with the last premise. All measures of personal success derive from failure. Each student is distinctly unique and will have different combinations of challenges from those of his/her peers. They only way he/she can honestly gauge his/her improvement is by comparing performance and understanding to that of yesterday, not by comparison to others. This does not negate the objectivity of competition, yet increases it, because students can markedly see their own improvements.
Students Must Learn About Their Ignorance: The true beginning of learning, is understanding and accepting that one does not know. This follows the Hierarchy of Competence, which starts with Unconscious Incompetence, where students do not recognize their deficits and many times take shortcuts to get avoid confronting said deficits. The next stage is Conscious Incompetence, where a student knows he/she does not know how to learn a new skill. At this stage, students will be more willing to actively accept instruction and will Listen instead of Hear. The third stage is Conscious Competence, in which a student understands and knows how to perform a skill correctly, but it does take a heavy amount of conscious involvement while performing that skill. The fourth and highest stage is Unconscious Competence, in which a skillset becomes natural and seemingly easy. This is a result of the consistent conscious replication of successful performance of a skill done over a considerable course of time. This level is not concrete, yet in a state of flux. Consistency in concerted effort during practice is necessary to reach this and stay close to this highest level.
Much of Teaching is Through Reminding, Not Teaching New Skills: This is congruent with the last premise, as there is only so much information a student can feasibly comprehend at any given time. All learning is accumulative, and details are missed in the process. The student must be reminded of those details on a regular basis. This makes an educator sound like a broken record at times. But, if the student is privy to the fact that he/she has missed important details, and is following the Hierarchy of Competence, that student will be much more receptive to the repetitive reminders.
Students Must Be Taught to Honestly Acknowledge and Address Their Fears: Each student has fears, which can and will put a damper on his/her progression of learning. Beginning students many times are fearful of getting hurt and/or embarrassed. Intermediate Students often fear being at the forefront of attention from others. Advanced students many times are fearful of inadequacy. High level fighters are fearful of being exhausted, as they know how to act and react in a match, but also know that once fatigue has set in, the pain or loss they will receive may be imminent. Acknowledging and addressing Fears, whether logical or illogical is a paramount skill which must be taught to all students.
Students Must Be Directed Towards Goals Specific to Their Strengths and Interests: Not all students are fighters. Inversely not all students are good at the esoterically artist side of martial arts. Some have a natural propensity as leaders, others as competitors and etc. The point is that after a reasonable amount of time in the process of having learned the holistic approach to martial arts training, students must be given the opportunity to specialize in their training or they will quickly plateau and become disillusioned with further education. Specialization gives students a focused and meaningful way to not only continue their own education, but to contribute to the betterment of their peers and juniors as well, ultimately raising the students’ sense of value in themselves.
Students Must Be Taught a with a Sense of Congruence in Martial Arts: Although specialization training is intrinsically important for the betterment of each student, they must be taught that there is a high level of congruence from one skillset to another. This fosters a level appreciation in the entirety of a martial art, keeps students from forming a false sense of superiority, and allows them to change courses as they get older. An injury will quickly put an end to one specialization, but with the correct understanding of congruence, a student can continue to train for a lifetime.
Teachers Must Expect More from Students Than They Expect from Themselves: More often than not students fail to see their full potential and inevitably shortchange themselves. The educator’s role is not to make students great, but instead to fully realize and actualize their own potential. This also means providing adversity for each student, as there is no better road to excellence than overcoming trials and tribulations. Students will not always see the educator as ‘nice’, and that is totally fine.
Teachers Must Be Absolutely Resolute in Their Role: Students can and will be challenging. They can be very stubborn at times, and some may act out based on a wide array of psychological/emotional issues which they are trying to overcome. It is the educator’s role to be caringly patient, believing in the process of facilitating a student’s potential to shine through to the world.
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