Motivated teachers versus ambitious students - Explaining two different attackers of learning


Illustration of Motivation by © cacaroot

MOTIVATED TEACHERS' BEHAVIOR


  1. I am always happy to see motivated teachers. They are keen on spreading their knowledge whenever and wherever they can.

  2. However, often they are so focused on spreading their know-how that they do not recognize how much they talk...

  3. Pupils who were - in best case - perfectly warmed-up before are cooling down because of listening to what kind of probably (hopefully) important information the teacher is giving. Then, all of a sudden, they restart the combination or technique training without a short "re-warm-up" of the pupils' body. This is a risky factor in terms of injuries, and I am not talking about different age groups yet who have special needs in terms of injury prevention... but that is another subject that has to be enlightened separately.

  4. Motivated teacher also tend to speak a lot while their students are trying out new movements or combinations which they learned maybe just about two minutes before. What happens here - seen from a neuro-physiological point of view - is that students are creating new synapses. WOW! That's cool, isn't it?

Yes, that would be really cool... even cooler if the teacher would not torpedo the neuro-physiological learning process by constantly shooting-in new information.

Science has proven (e.g. Mostafa and Gwizdka, 2016; Pelowski et al., 2017) that brain and body need time to communicate. That sounds so simple and logic for all of us, doesn't it? However, I see this simple rule constantly attacked by (too) motivated teachers. Imagine a Ferrari on the highway at high speed being constantly disturbed by occuring unexpected obstacles on the road. That's what happens when the teacher gives too much information during the phase of "acquainting the new move".


Teacher's conclusion

Make sure you are not giving too much information during this critical phase of learning a new movement. Always keep in mind that

  1. The way from brain via nerves to muscles is long and it needs time to actually get "into the body". This is, as well when exploring the movement first as when trying to repeat the movement.

  2. What seems easy for you took time until you got it, too. Remember to remind yourself of this fact.

  3. You need to be patient... especially with yourself! Too much information at once will probably lead to less success in the ongoing learning process.


NOW LET'S HAVE A LOOK AT THE BEHAVIOR OF AMBITIONED STUDENTS


Most students of this category come often to class. They are eager to learn and they practice at home. They are often at the studio quite a bit before the class starts in order to see what is taught in the course before. Often they stay quite a bit longer just to catch a view of what is taught in the course afterwards...

These pupils are gorgeous, aren't they? As a teacher you see them progressing quickly. Yes, indeed, they advance quickly in terms of dance techniques. But hey,

  • What about the background knowledge that is needed to understand why certain techniques are executed the way it is shown?

  • What about the background knowledge in terms of folkloric roots?

  • What about the emotional, sensitive and sensible quality of the movements?

Just to mention some of the important information on the edge.


Further on, ambitioned students are often so keen on learning the new movements that they lose their natural lightness of being. Their muscles become tight, because they perceive permanent stress due to the emotional excitement. Do not underestimate this fact, neither as a teacher nor as a student.


Ambitioned pupils are also stress factors for other students of the class. Often they perceive needed repetitions as "slow-down" factors. In that case, additional tasks are required to fulfill their basic psychological need satisfaction. Unfortunately, these additional tasks need to be related to the original task for not unnecessarily confuse the other students.


These facts are just meant as excerpt of possible behavior characteristics of ambitioned students.


Students' conclusion


Make sure you are not too eager of information during the critical phase of learning a new movement. Always keep in mind that

  1. The way from brain via nerves to muscles is long and it needs time to actually get "into the body". This is, as well when exploring the movement first as when trying to repeat the movement. This is also the case when you think of already knowing the movement - repetition is the clue to perfection.

  2. What seems easy for you may take more time for others. If you feel "bored" try out different qualities of the movement, for instance, execute it with more or less force, bigger or smaller etc.

  3. You need to be patient... especially with yourself! Too much information at once will probably lead to less success in the ongoing learning process.


Overall conclusion

Comparing both "partakers" you might have recognized that they have things in common or at least have some similarities.

A good teacher should be able to reduce his/her own ambitions in order to see the needs of their students.

In addition, a good teacher should know tools to fulfill the basic psychological needs (Quested et al., 2011) of all their students.


Now I am happy to read your comments and questions.

Yours Said El Amir


#motivation #danceclass #teacher #ambitious #goaloriented #pedagogics #didactics


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© 2020 jomdance-science • Said el Amir • München

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