Sources on teaching


you might like nonviolent communication, some interesting and very challenging techniques for dealing with people (kid's included.)

I've been gradually collecting sources on teaching without realizing it. Teaching instruction can come from some unlikely places (the likely places are Alfie Kohn, John Holt, Carol Dweck, Paolo Freire...). Here are some of mine:

* Cesar Milan - I realize he's a dog psychologist but a lot of what he says is applicable to humans as well. I'm thinking specifically about what he calls "calm assertive energy"... The idea of just ignoring behaviour you don't like, instead of reinforcing it negatively, is another animal training thing that could be used in human relations, though you can remove punishment without resorting to classical conditioning...

* Rener and Ryron Gracie - the jiu jitsu family who do fantastic youtube videos. In their Bullyproof program, they talk about what they call "transfer teaching" - at the beginning, the teacher takes responsibility for doing the technique, and gradually, through repitition, the responsibility is transferred to the student. They also use what they call "the perfect adjustment", which is brilliant - rather than correcting by saying "no, you're doing it wrong", the teacher makes the adjustment and notes that it's now done correctly (when Rener does this, he then adds a very compelling "perfect!"). Their "Gracie Breakdown" videos are also a great idea.

* Saolo Ribeiro - another jiu jitsu teacher, who breaks down 10 years of jiu jitsu (which is about how long it takes to get a black belt) into stages, with each stage having a focus: white belts on survival, blue belts on escaping, etc. The Gracie video instructionals also do a great job of breaking down a huge body of learning into small enough parts to make it seamless.

* Kegan and Laskow - they have a book called How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work. One of the ways is to offer "specific, nonattributive" feedback as part of a "language of ongoing regard". So, instead of telling someone: "you're really smart" or "you're really generous", you would say (if you were talking for example to Patrick Elie): "Your analysis of Haiti provided a framework that helped me make sense of all of the information that I've seen over the years." Better to be even more specific probably, about the elements of the analysis... but you get the idea.