Forum for Dieter Verhofstadt

meta-teaching [#2505]

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axd: meta-teaching (2011-02-14 13:23) [#8298]

About your comment...

In my former club, I proposed to introduce lessons on how to teach go, exactly to counter this type of problem when you need teachers to be on the same frequency. There was no reaction from the club, for some reason that was not found interesting enough. To me, every club of any significance should also focus on how to teach go to the outside world, to visitors, otherwise the stress (if you like) of introducing go will push some teachers to go back to their roots (very few of them will know about stone counting teaching method, or understand the benefits of it), and then you get this type of situations.

connection should indeed be part of Go-101.

Dieter: ((no subject)) (2011-02-14 23:39) [#8299]

Well, I understand your point, but I tend to see this not as much as a problem but rather as an interesting observation of the human condition. I'm sure you already know that, although I can be very convinced (and maybe even convincing sometimes) I'm reluctant to impose rules in a non-profit, voluntary environment. What you may offer in terms of improved quality, may reduce the pride and joy people take in a voluntary, almost missionary job.

Maybe this posting of mine is already offensive or grateless to some extent, but I like to keep a record of my observations, so I hope the people who are concerned do treat it lightly.

Phelan: ((no subject)) (2011-02-15 12:58) [#8304]

Please keep adding to this page whenever you get the chance, Dieter. I find it very interesting. :)

As for the topic of teaching how to teach go, I think few people realize that it needs to be learned at all, and therefore teach beginners in a haphazard way. However, convincing them that teaching Go should be different is sometimes not worth the effort. At this point I only comment with the teacher afterwards about the method I use. I also try to reflect about what works and doesn't while teaching. I should probably start a log of my teaching experiences.

axd: teaching vs introducing Go (2011-10-24 12:38) [#8800]

Note that following comments apply on an "Occidental setting": I assume that countries where Go is rooted in tradition will use a different approach.

Another reason to make teaching in a club an internal program is to

  1. reduce doubts in the newcomer's minds
  2. increase the likelihood that newcomers will return

This all requires a carefully worked out club program in which all club members must be cooperating: they must understand why the way to teach Go is so important.

Why is this so important? Those newcomers that happen to visit the club will make a big decision on whether to deepen on Go, or drop it (for the rest of their lives, because "it is still too complicated"), purely based on that single evening's experience: therefore it is so important to make this a successful first experience. Club members that just want to show off should be explained at length that their attitude is damaging to the club and to the game in West.

Go is not part of Western culture, where parents will send their kids instead to chess club because of tradition, and where clubs and players are abound; those few that discover Go usually do this by accident, so they deserve a lot of energy to get introduced to the game.

This same program will then also be used by club members in their personal quest for Go players: once a member understands that it is not the ko, eye or territory concepts, or 19x19 gobans (or even 13, 9, or 7) that will produce a new Go player, they will in turn become great Go promotors.

Teaching on teaching will also need to introduce adaptive teaching to cope with various scenarios: e.g. someone who has already seen the rules will probably be frustrated when being presented a 5x5; a chess player will require a different approach from someone who has never played strategic board games before, a kid will need another approach from an adult, and an elderly will still need another approach (the difference with the kid could be e.g. that it will be difficult to remember things). In other words, some kind of standard "questionnaire" must be available to probe what the best way is to introduce Go.

So now there is

  • teaching Go
  • teaching on how to introduce Go

I think we will have to separate "teaching Go" from "introducing Go": former is a lifelong program, latter is just this short, fleeting, seemingly insignificant phase in a Go player's career. But both are equally important.

Edit added after reading this comment: introducing Go is not about handing over a set of rules. It is all about transferring a passion, infecting a newcomer.

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