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Ronan's report

Sunday 15th April, 2012

"You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it for himself." Galileo Galilei

"The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think - rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men." Bill Beattie

Mike's (Victor) FP last week asked for more stuff about instruction, and Mark's (Stoatstail) comment on the board was, as usual, closer to the truth than most of us would like to admit. So, for what it's worth, here is my ten-pennorth.

My aim when teaching people to cast is not to show them how it's done. I want to get them to work out how to do things in their own way.

Rather than give them rules and constraints, I'd rather give them principles and objectives and see how they find their way through them. I like to talk about how things could be done rather than how they should be done.

The absolute most valuable thing I can do for them while they are with me is to inspire them to practise regularly. I can best do this by allowing them to prove to themselves that they can get better, enthusiastically praising them when they do, keeping it simple, and making it fun.

I happily plunder other people's instructing methods: Joan, Mel, Lee, Stefan, and yes even Paul. There is no magic bullet in the world of casting instruction. One day Joan'll slay them, the next it's Lee, or maybe the bastard offspring from the coupling of Paul and Stefan (OK now I won't sleep tonight...).

The person who walks away completely and totally fixed and transformed is roughly as rare and the one who leaves with no improvement whatsoever. Hopefully the thing they'll all have in common will be that they learned some stuff and enjoyed themselves.

I'm in a quoting mood tonight so I'll end with a couple more:

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." - John Cotton Dana.

"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did." - Lawrence Peter Berra.


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