Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Three Steps to Learning Anything.

To lean anything in this world it is necessary to go through three steps: Instruction, Training and Practice.

look almost any education curriculum and you will realize this is well understood.

Instruction could take many forms, for example it could be a teacher that exposes new information or a book that does the same.

Training is when you take what you learn and repeat it time and time again to become comfortable with the knowledge, when it becomes like second nature.

Practice is when you use the information you've learned in a real life situation.

Go to any martial arts class, driver's ed course, and really just about anything and you will find these three steps are well observed and respected.

Using these three steps you can learn ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING.

Then why oh why don't all national school systems put these three simple steps to use?

As I've told my readers before, I teach English and Spanish privately and in small groups, and I do it using these same three steps, but traditional school are flawed because of the large class sizes. when it comes to a martial arts dojo having a large class size is not a problem, because everyone trains at the same time and the sensei simply needs to scan the room to correct those that are doing an exercise wrongly.  When it comes to a language class it becomes impossible because all students can not be speaking at the same time.

Have you ever wondered why some immigrants may have lived in the US for 20 years yet are not able to speak English? even if they go to class 5 times a week. It is because the skip the middle step, in a large classroom only the 3 or 4 students that sit close to the teacher ever receive actual training, the rest only get the instruction and then they go out and try to practice in the real world... with people that have been speaking it their whole lives.

Now imagine you are taking your first boxing lesson, the trainer tells you "ok, you have to hit your opponent, and make sure you don't get hit yourself" immediately after he says "ok, now practice with my friend Mike Tyson", what do you think will happen?   ... right, he will drop you with the first punch, and IF you get up you will probably think you will never be able to box.

So again the problem is large class sizes, I propose the following let's go to an extreme case, let's say you have a language class that is 10 weeks long and has 40 students in it, every student will benefit more if the school makes 4  2.5 week courses, even if it means the students will have 7.5 weeks without class.

What do you think?


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