Back in the distant past on my first day studying to be a teacher, we were offered this quote to help us understand that children learn best when given the opportunity to do a task, not just observe it. We were also reminded (in case Latin hadn’t been part of our state school curriculum…) that the word ‘education’ comes from the Latin ‘educare’, which means to draw out what is already within the student. (I have since learned that ‘educare’ means to train or to mold, while ‘educere,’ also derived from the Latin root means to lead out.)
All these years on and much I learned in adolescence has faded from memory, but these pieces remain, and return to my focus whenever I plan to share ideas or knowledge. Firstly of all it doesn’t help simply to demonstrate something unless there is the immediate opportunity to practice it, and secondly, we all know more than we think, so helping draw information out and shaping the way we think about it are the original ways of learning.
For a long time I have looked at creating online classes for this site, but can’t get around the knowledge that passive observation isn’t a great way to learn anything. As a result I will be teaching classes in my home studio starting in July and offering workbooks for those who want to try the exercises. There may well be explanatory videos for anything that is easier to show than explain, and taking into account different learning styles, but they will no longer be the primary vehicle for helping you relax and create.