Knowing and Understanding
The Challenge of Doing
It is always a fascinating to watch a student attempt to apply a new skill. No matter how capable or versed, any student will inevitably struggle with the application of new information to a problem. The tension is evident in the face of the student as he or she tries to verify the necessary skills to correctly address the concern or task.
As an instructor, much like a parent, the instructor wishes to help but realizes the struggle both internal and external must be carried to a point of stress to create growth. It is unnerving for both the spectator and participant(s).
Whether the result is success or failure, gain will always follow the activity. Knowledge learned is polished to knowledge used. Intelligence is tempered with wisdom. The activity comes and passes. The student struggles and ends the task.
True growth occurs and then the pruning of the growth begins. The information of the experience must be analyzed and extracted. It must be condensed and modified to the true potency that underlies its existence. The teacher must help the student identify the lessons used and discovered.
Gaps in previously understood knowledge should be addressed. As well, correct application or understanding should be recognized. Both capacities should be viewed for a more complete understanding of the event. No encounter comes without a positive and negative characteristic.
The teacher should reflect what the student voices primarily. The lesson takes more of the role of instruction as the teacher guides more complete introspection. The student determines the information that is embedded in himself or herself in the aftermath of the trial.
Often, reflection is completed over several visitations where the event is reviewed by both parties and time passing between reflection and event progresses from minutes to hours to days. Time itself helps to instill a new perspective.
The emotional state of all involved may impact the lessons uncovered. The student will initially be emotionally impacted. This state of emotional vulnerability may take several moments to reconcile. It may take time just to let the raw emotions settle before the student can even begin to reflect on a given event. The same may be true for the teacher. The teacher may have emotional ties to the student which do not allow him or her to initially share his or her thoughts for a given task or problem. When looking at any task in retrospect, it is important for all parties to accurately examine their internal reflection regarding emotions first before sharing with each other to avoid inaccuracies or poor communication.
It should be noted that tasks should be sequential and offer multiple attempts at the same or similar problem in order to truly impart wisdom. If one considers skills like riding a bicycle or writing, then it is easy to see where several attempts are necessary to achieve successful completion. Very few instances in life have a "one and done" outcome. Knowledge takes repetition in most circumstances. Another example, school is attended for several years and not just one day. Knowledge takes time.
How can students perform better with given tasks or problems? Realize that the struggle is the key, not the outcome. Yes, test scores matter for passing a class, but dealing with adversity and becoming resilient matters for life. Grades will fade to memory, but skills will carry or handicap a person for life. The struggle is where we change to action from thought. Application is the only place where anyone truly can find the validity of anything learned.
Last, be patient with anyone or thing that you experience. As a student, or a teacher, give yourself time to learn and struggle. In the end, that is where growth will occur.
The M.A.D. Dad
About the Creator
The M.A.D. Dad
I call myself the M.A.D. Dad. M.A.D. stands for Martial Arts Direction. I want to help others battle the forces that threaten our peace with lessons that I have been blessed to discover through my experiences in both Martial Arts and Life.
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