Teaching Principles That Will Help Students Succeed
Four phases to teaching—one each week
- Introduce/Preparation for learning (initial teach)
- People learn by doing.
- Do it right the first time.
- Do everything in your power to be sure they do it right the first time.
- Demonstrate, a great approach for some calls.
- Show on black board, a great approach for some other calls.
- Try very hard not to let them do it wrong, even once.
- People do not like to get embarrassed. When they get embarrassed,
they do not feel good about themselves, and therefore they do not like
- Do not test them to see how many remember from the previous week.
- Re-teach the call as if no one had ever heard of it before.
- The third week that you use a new call, give it a quick verbal review before using it.
- During the fourth week, be sure to use calls you have been teaching and reviewing.
- This is necessary to set the call into memory properly.
Goals of teaching
Revised: $Date: 2006/05/23 01:01:00 $
- To train dancers to be able to comfortably enter the local square dance activity.
- They should be able to respond properly to calls that they will hear, from the formations and arrangements that they are most likely to hear them from.
- They should not get embarrassed.
- Choose a teaching order that will:
- Teach basic formations early.
- Allow dancers to move from one formation to another easily.
- Teach harder calls as early as possible. This allows as much practice as possible before graduation.
- Save the easier calls for the end, since they do not require as much practice time.
- Do not teach calls with similar names, similar actions, or similar starting positions close together. Leave at least four weeks space if at all possible.
- This lets dancers learn one action for one name, without anything to confuse it with.
- When the similar call is eventually taught, dancers will not have to choose between two partially learned and possibly choose the wrong one.
- Calls that are frequently used together should be taught separately.
- This insures that each call is learned, not just the pattern of the combined call.
- Examples of patterns to avoid (until calls are learned individually):
- Flutter Wheel, Sweep 1/4
- Lead Right, Circle to a Line
- Pass Thru, Wheel and Deal, Double Pass Thru, first couple go left, next go right
- Swing Thru, Men Run
- Once the calls are learned, individually, use them together in the common patterns so that dancers are familiar with common usage.
- Do not teach all variations of the more difficult calls.
- Teach the most common formations first
- i.e. the ones they will need most to survive after graduation.
- As time permits, teach additional variations.
- Be sure to word each definition generally enough so that when you teach a new variation, you will not be contradicting yourself.