Yes really! I have started teaching at the college. I have three groups all very different in nature, but all being taught GSCE maths for the higher level. Two weeks in and I know that I really enjoy it.
I bring my coaching head and want to design the course around the students. So after the first week with two of the groups, which was a case if sink or swim (the latter thankfully) I decided that I needed to know more about the students, so I needed to ask them! All the courses I have run before for canoeing or climbing or archery, the groups have been generally smaller and more motivated rather than you have to do this to pass your other course (the one you are more interested in - hopefully). So it has been quite easy to engage the students with chat to see their motivation and aims for the course. Two of my classes are big - 21 or up to 39 (only in the 20s turn up though). I decided to use a profiling exercise that I have used for a  foundation safety and rescue course - a list of topics with a scale of zero to six (with words that indicate what each number means) asking students to rate their perceived ability. Clearly with maths I could set them a test, but this could be quite demoralising, so asking them what they think they know perhaps is easier to comprehend. I am aware that there are downsides to such a method, in that confidence and self belief will have influence on the answers too, but I think that is relevant anyway when teaching any subject.
The results have been fascinating. I expected that each group would highlight a different area as being the least understood, but no all three groups highlighted the same topic - trigonometry. How interesting and makes for the next lesson preparation to be the same for each group. We'll do all about right angled triangles and introduce not just trig, but Pythagoras Theorem too. I want to mix up the teaching style throughout the course so I hit as many of the learners as possible and also use active methods as much as possible. In maths I also think practice is important, particularly of exam type questions, so that students recognise the maths required from a particular problem.
Being available to students to listen to their needs, their worries and their hopes is also important and part of "coaching" I think. I have students have told me how they expect the course to be delivered (awful term I know, but accurate in this case). They expect me to "tell them" - as if I can beam the information straight into their heads. I will need some success in using other methods for them to get them on board. I really want all the students to recognise that the learning is their responsibility. I will try to enable them, build confidence and supply the right information, but I am also hoping that with the range of expertise that the students can learn from each other, and research, books and elsewhere.
Hopefully I can set up a wiki page where we can share the snippets of learning/methods, games, worked examples that they & I come up with.
In Rogers (2007:33) explains the need to know the existing knowledge and then devise building blocks to subtly help students learn with tasks and practice to reinforce the knowledge. I think there is more to that as I need to make it relevant and applicable. Where students are motivated to pass the exam, this is easier, but where the students are their because they have to be t is harder. I need to know more about their skills outside maths! The relevance is important bacause as Rogers implies the older memory is not so good (short term anyway) - I would concur with this!! So talking and demonstrating is okay, but not enough.

"The core art of teaching adults is to find alternative ways of conveying ideas and information." Rogers (2007; 38)

However , convincing all the students that me talking is not a good thing may take some convincing. So my plan is to take the active coach that I am for canoeing, where different methods of going forward can be ok, but then need refining. Lots of questioning and practice in different situations, so show how useful these methods can be. Wish me luck!
 
It has been a while since I have written anything here, but I am still here and starting Year 2 of the course. My situation has changed and I am on target to achieving my goals, which is really very exciting.
So what has changed? I have started tutoring privately in maths which is one to one. I have also got a new job (zero hour contract unfortunately) as a support assistant with the adult services with the council. I think this will give me a great position to help those that need extra support and to watch a teacher at work in the sector I am interested in teaching in.
So what does this mean for my PGCE? I think this means I can start to understand how my teaching can be applied in different situations. In particular it gives me an interesting view on that old question of "Coaching verses Teaching", which is where I started.
Today I went in to meet the new Year 1s and give them some hints and tips for their first year based on my experience. As I was talking to them I realised how much I have enjoyed the journey so far and how pleased I am with where I am now. I might not remember every quote, author and complete details of the things I have learned, but I know I am already a better teacher. My confidence has grown. I really did enjoy writing my essays, because the thinking behind them has helped me move forward.
This leads me onto the next challenge which is my research project. On Friday I was thinking along the lines of how I adapt my "coaching" techniques to teaching maths, as I feel that I am doing the same kind of thing as I do when teaching canoeing or canoe education for that matter. Having discussed the issue of an actual research question, which I still haven't completely formulated, I do know have an idea going forward.
1. What is coaching? When I think of it I have a concept in my head based on my own experience, but I am fully aware that people who teach have a view too, so I know there are differences between coaching and teaching. Thus I need to Define Coaching - that is the background reading I need. Perhaps others have tried to fit coaching into teaching maths and so on, so perhaps I am not doing anything that new.
2. Once I can define coaching I should be able to draw out some key points and compare with what I actually do, and then look at variations to help learning. After all learning is key to all of this. The student should be central and their progress is important.

One suggestion has been to look at goal setting as a tool to learning, which I gather is part of coaching. Let me read some stuff and get back to you on that. Books I have collected from the library today are:

Stevens, N. (2005) Learn to Coach The skills you need to coach for personal and professional development. Oxford: How to Books Ltd.

Parsloe, E. & Wray, M. (2000) Coaching and Mentoring practical methods to improve learning. London: Koan Page Ltd (reprinted 2008)

Rogers, J. (2007) Adults Learning. 5th ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press

Clutterbuck, D. (2001) Everyone needs a mentor Fostering Talent at Work. 3rd ed. Towbridge: The Cromwell Press

I am hoping by reading the sections relevant in these books and a bit of web surfing I will fnd a few definitions, some coaching tools and models which will make for a great Literature Review and lay the foundations for my introduction.

I am hoping that the process of the research will help me put into context what I actually do when I teach or coach or facilitate with my students, as well as being able to pass my PGCE!

Any thoughts or pointers would be welcome.
 
I know I haven't written much here for a while. That's not to say I haven't been reflecting, just haven't had time to update the blog.

So Unit 2 is finished and wow that was a learning curve and a half. Always good when doing an assignment creates learning. Next essay is about assessment and evaluation. Well I guess our essays are part of our own assessment process. I am a great believer that assessments should be part of the learning. A way to focus the mind, check what you know, and I guess compare yourself with others should it be that kind of assessment.

Today I taught a group of students from Shuttleworth College a full day training course called Foundation Safety and Rescue Training. Being a training course there is no assessment at the end of the day, just a decision from me whether they are recommended or not recommended, which is really based on their participation. However I do need to assess their needs before I start the course, so I know how to tailor the course to "optimise" their learning. It was obvious from the start that sitting in a classroom for more than 5 minutes would be 5 minutes too long!  My judgement! However I did present then with a profiling exercise to mark on a score of 0 to 6 their knowledge about various parts of the course to come. This created a baseline. The plan was to use the same profile at the end of the day to demonstrate to the students that they have learnt something (hopefully) and also another way to demonstrate success of the teaching styles used perhaps. It would be no good just assessing at the end without a baseline, because I would have no idea of their prior knowledge and so would not know if I had made a difference.

I use the following scale which I learned on the UKCC Level 3 training for canoe coach that I had some time ago. I like the scale and the words as it is clear I think what is meant. The scale is a reflection of stages of learning: Cognitive; Associative; Autonomous which can also relate to unconscious incompetence; conscious incompetence; conscious competence; unconscious competence. Perhaps I will look at some psychology text books as this all relates to the brain.

The scale:
0 = I know nothing
1 = I think I understand it
2 = Aha I get it! but it doesn't always work
3 = It seems to work OK. Is it OK?
4 = It works as long as I think about it!
5 = I don't really have to think about it!
6 = I can do this well and never doubt it - it's just part of what I do!

I am sure we can think of things we do that can fit into this scale.

Do you have a profiling exercise you do with students to rate their knowledge or abilities? I would love to hear from you if you are happy to share.
 
Essay for Unit 2 is nearly complete and has proved hard work to get going and then harder work to take learning and teaching (the title) to consider the list of criteria that cover Behaviour Management, Group Work and Resources. For ages I couldn't take what my head thought of as teaching and learning and develop an essay around the criteria. Needs must though and criteria have to be met through the essay including the feedback from the last essay that I need less description and more analysis. This to a person who is constantly reflecting and analysing daily ... quite an irony actually. Well the effort to change direction has lead me in a number of directions and yesterday resulted in me checking out the psychology section of the library rather than the education section. I wanted something about working in groups. I have a strong belief that although group work is useful, allowing people to work individually is also important. The feeling from our PGCE lessons and the various documents given suggests that group work is good because it is active and can help the quieter ones come out of themselves working with peers and so on. But I know from experience that in a group we conform and sometimes won't speak up in case we are wrong or go against the grain of the group. So now to find some quotes which support both arguments and support overall my teaching philosophy that variation of teaching styles is key to success with a group of students or even with one. So Hayes (1993:55) says
Asch's studies of conformity, and Milgram's research into obedience, show how people can act quite differently when they are with others than they do when they are on their own. The study of how people behave in groups has become an important area within social psychology - not least, because so many decisions which effect our day-to-day lives are made by groups or committees of one kind or another.
Hayes goes on to define a group as opposed to a collection of people as having the following traits:
  • People interacting over a sustained period of time, rather than just minutes
  • The members of the group perceive themselves as part of a group
  • Norms, roles and responsibilities are formed as part of the group, where there are expectations for behaviour and sanctions for those that don't conform
  • There is a shared sense of purpose or a shared goal for the group
  • Relationships are formed between different members of the group
I can think of many groups that I am part of. On facebook I belong to the Cockapoo Owners Club and there are definite rules which members abide by. Some are written on the club website. These have evolved over time, with an underlying push from the founder members. If anyone goes against the grain or makes a comment that the majority don't like, or pushes someone to feel they want to leave, but hasn't in the eyes of the majority done anything wrong it is fascinating watching and reading the defences and encouragement or even the nicely worded "You can't say that - well you can but it is just an opinion and remember the rest of us think differently!" ... if the one who has made the untoward comment does not retract or justify their comment then there can be a collective push! Fascinating!! As the club has grown that has also created some issues, but the hardy core keep everyone on the straight and narrow ... i.e. following the rules!!

Within a classroom I think this also happens, which is why when we ask the new class to come up with the rules and take ownership of them, this can be very effective. This still needs a facilitator (the teacher). If the group agrees the punishments or rewards then everyone will conform as long as they want to stay members of the group.

However when you want creativity, group work may not help if the rules are not to be outspoken or come up with random solutions ... so groups could prevent new ideas or allow individualism if not carefully managed. Sharing can help, but might equally stifle a less confident but hugely imaginative brain. Hayes (1993: 58) discusses "Groupthink"
As has already been seen, groups tend to develop their own norms and ideas, and members of the group are expected to conform to these. This can present difficulties if the norms within a group become strong as to restrict deviant information from outside. When this happens, the process of groupthink may mean that the group becomes closed to essential information, and can end up making decisions which are disastrously unsuccessful.
Hayes goes on to talk about leadership and how a strong leader can influence "groupthink". In a classroom, mixing up the smaller groups for group work is a must and perhaps changing the leadership role or presenter of information each time. This could help reduce too much groupthink and encourage individuals, whilst increasing creativity through springboard ideas sessions. As well individuals learn about different roles within a team - leadership, follower, ideas person, doer, etc. This brings me nicely onto team roles and Belbin springs to mind Belbin(2012:1) - http://www.belbin.com/rte.asp?id=8 [Accessed 26/3/13] tells us that:
A team is not a bunch of people with job titles, but a congregation of individuals, each of whom has a role which is understood by other members. Members of a team seek out certain roles and they perform most effectively in the ones that are most natural to them.
So what is the difference between a group and a team and what do we create in teaching? Wisegeek: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-the-difference-between-a-team-and-a-group.htm (2013:1) explains
A team's strength depends on the commonality of purpose and interconnectivity between individual members, whereas a group's strength may come from sheer volume or willingness to carry out a single leader's commands. ...

A group may use equal parts discussion, argumentation and peer pressure to guide individual members towards a consensus. ...

A team, by comparison, does not rely on "groupthink" to arrive at its conclusions. ... The members use their individual abilities to arrive at a cohesive result. ...

Group building can literally take only a few minutes, but team building can take years. Individual members of a group often have the ability to walk away when their services or input become unnecessary. A team member's absence can seriously hamper the abilities of other members to perform effectively, so it is not uncommon for individual members to form an exceptionally strong allegiance to the team as a whole.
I think in the classroom we create a mixture of groups and teams, and as a teacher I think we need to know the difference ... the whole class will form a group, the common purpose of which is to study for the same outcomes. Groups can be formed for group work, but perhaps as teacher's get to know their students better they can create teams for specific purposes where all members are important to achieve the task at hand ....

What do you think?
 
I have just discovered Phil Race (http://phil-race.co.uk) and have just read Chapter 2 of Making Learning Happen (Phil Race, 2005, London, Sage Publications) which uses ripples on a pond to explain the factors to make learning happen. What a simple model to explain something complex. But the thing that has gone click is this quote.
Their [the 5 factors of Wanting, Needing, Doing, Digesting, Feedback] strength lies in their simplicity – at least in terms of the language we can use to describe them. This language is easily shared by teachers and learners alike. But the strength of this way of thinking about learning also lies in its complexity – the way the factors all interact with each other, and don’t need to occur in a set order or pattern. And perhaps the most significant factor is that any or all of these factors can be going on at any instant in our learning – and we can choose to address any or all of them quite intentionally at any moment in our teaching.

The more reading I am doing the more I get the fact that teaching is complex and their are many elements to it, particularly because people are involved! However my using simple models of the parts and recognising that these interact, we come to some kind of understanding or knowledge. However as said before there is no doubt in my mind that to become a skilful teacher it requires doing it, experimenting with different methods and reflecting. For me I am good at processes and getting to grips with them, I like to observe others and review my own practice, I like to analyse (perhaps to death!). However I know that by teaching the coaching processes I get better and better at teaching! Funny that Phil Race has just drawn a simple pond with ripples that explains just that .. check out the link above and tell me what you think ....
 
Picture
I am half way through writing essay number two which is about Teaching and Learning. It is coming together slowly and I am aware of some learning for me going on, which is cool! Anyway I came across this diagram on my travels through the WWW and I quite like it as it pulls together quite a lot of concepts of teaching style. As I think about becoming a skilful teacher (see previous blog) I am aware that there is much more to any teaching style than just how the student interacts with the learning. The teacher needs to be a leader, a psychologist, a communicator and so much more. I think this diagram pretty much sums up all the parts.

Back to the essay now! Going to look at behaviour management, which definitely contains some psychology as well as leadership (CLAP = communication, line of sight, avoidance and Position of most usefulness)

 
I had a revelation today during a Canoe Coach Level 2 training course that I was co-tutoring.

 "Being skilful is being able to use the right technique for the right situation" : (Leo Hoare: 2013 - www.getafix.com)

I was listening to the other tutor as he was talking about different coaching styles to fit into a framework of a planned session using the model IDEAS (previous discussed). These coaching styles are techniques for teaching our students something. They can be individual work, group work, guided discovery, questioning, shelf-check (where the student has a set of criteria to look for when they are doing the thing), reciprocal or peer to peer coaching/teaching, and so on. There is an endless list of different ways of presenting the information to students and facilitating some kind of learning process, which can be classed on a spectrum of coach/teacher led to student led (Mosston M. & Ashworth S. (2002) Teaching Physical Education, 5th ed. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings).  The Coach Trainees where asked which techniques they preferred to be coached in and low and behold there was a range. We them asked them to consider learning styles from Honey & Mumford (previous discussed) and again we had a variety of answers. The conclusion is that we are all different, and in fact need to incorporate all these differences within a teaching session to satisfy all the students needs ... well some of them anyway.

The course previously had spoken about how to make paddlers with a series of techniques skilful, i.e. able to apply those techniques successfully to different situations. This also relates to the teaching techniques of course. All these different strategies and teaching techniques have to be applied to the classroom (or river bank!) and to teaching students to become better at the subject matter.

So what we are saying is that you need adapt the teaching style to the subject matter and also to the students in front of you on that day in that hour. Yes we need to plan, and perhaps even have a variety of possible ways of presenting information and facilitating learning. But as a skilful teacher we must be able to apply the right technique at the right time in the right place and appropriate for the students in front of us. Adaptation is key, as well as creating differentiation, which may lend itself to certain teaching styles.

So during our PGCE course we are encouraged to try different teaching techniques and reflect on their success or failure. This is part of our journey to becoming skilful teachers. I think there would be a lot of value to reflect on previous years and courses to recognise that in fact for some things we may well have been through this process. Observing other peoples' lessons is also useful and in fact is a method of peer to peer learning, as we should be able to identify those successful styles of teaching and adaptations.

Reflective practice is good to become for skilful as teachers, but at the same time we do need to get out there and do it (lots)
 
This week I am helping tutor a Level 2 training course for canoe/kayak coaches. This involves giving students what used to be called a coaching process course. It builds on the basic coaching knowledge they will have learnt from a Level 1 course. On day 1 in the afternoon we covered several mini sessions about some theory, which included something about how memory works. Now I wondered at the time why this was important for canoe coaches. The analogy used was one of files in a filing cabinet, or the bin. Anyway whilst listening to the other tutor discussing the options I was thinking how this fitted into learning and teaching. Petty (2006; 8) says that "Learning is making sense, not just remembering", i.e. it is more than just pouring information into the brain to be stored away for later. In fact does the brain even retain information that isn't accessed regularly?

The relevance of the memory lesson is apparent on day 2 of the course when reference is made to "dog eared" files that someone has learnt previously and are now embedded in the long term memory. Or the need to create the right information to be stored in these files. These embedded memories will become active during times of stress. So with regard to canoeing technoques if someone has developed an incorrect technique, this can be very difficult to correct as you are trying to change a long term memory file for something new. I have certainly seen evidence for this today with someone attempting a reverse backwater stroke in which he consistently placed the paddle in the crossdeck stroke incorrectly. However in teaching using a "self-check" style markers were given for an effective stroke, including what face of the paddle should face forward on the crossdeck stroke. Thus the student could instantly see when the correct stroke was done when he was conscience about what he was doing. In a canoe this stroke can be done on both side (bilaterally). On the student's other side no such error of paddle placement was evident.

What I noticed was as soon as the student stopped "thinking" about the stroke he reverted back to his original incorrect method, although it was an easy matter of a one word reminder to correct. The student asked some questions about why the stroke should be as shown, i.e looking for some motivation and explanation as to effectiveness and reasoning.

Petty (2006;13) talks about reproduction of tasks which are on the lower level of Bloom's taxonomy and
"Do not require the learner to process the material, or apply the learning, or even to understand it. This makes the task simple, but has the disadvantage that it does not require the learners to create a meaning in mentalese and to connect it to their existing learning"
Mentalese is the language that our brains store information in, as opposed to the language we use to communicate to others in. So in the case of our paddler re-learning a stroke, only copying it isn't sufficient to add onto the current knowledge embedded in his brain. A teacher needs to create understanding and sufficient repetitions and adaptation in different environments to create enough meaning to change or add onto the previously learnt technique. Changing well use dog eared files is difficult and may need to tackled from novel approaches to create a new file which can be accessed more readily.

So for the paddler in question, on the side he has not practised the stroke before there was no memory, so the practice and coaching was effective quite quickly. However on the original side further understanding and effectiveness was required to start the process. If I ask for a repetition of the stroke tomorrow will a change be made without input? Maybe, but maybe not..So considering a teaching style which uses higher levels on Blooms Taxonomy may be necessary to effect the change permanently
 
Research needed as I didn't really get this at all in class yesterday. I believe that this is about communication and relates to life in general. This is a theory of psychology (I should ask my daughter for more information!) and based on three EGO states "Adult", "Child" and "Parent".

So what do those words mean? It is always hard to understand something new when words are used that already have some meaning. In the Neuro-Linguistic Programming lecture we discovered that everyone has different brain connections for words and it is no different for me with these words.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4540233_teach-transactional-analysis.html
explains the words are representative of a behavioural state as follows:

CHILD: Self-centred; Wants it's own way; Doesn't care about anyone else
ADULT: "our ability to think and determine action for ourselves" (http://www.businessballs.com/transact.htm)
PARENT: Parents say "You should do this". Our "ingrained voice of authority" (http://www.businessballs.com/transact.htm), personality based on our experiences of parents, teachers, authority figures

In other words (http://www.businessballs.com/transact.htm):
  • Parent is our 'Taught' concept of life
  • Adult is our 'Thought' concept of life
  • Child is our 'Felt' concept of life
There is a test here: http://www.transactional-analysis.org/

I came out as 85% parent, 10% adult and 42% child. What does this mean, it clearly isn't meant to add to 100%, so perhaps it is about percentage of potential? Not at all sure! There were plenty of questions I didn't understand though, so I won't worry too much! OR perhaps I should develop the ADULT side ... I did wonder when adulthood was achieved and I clearly have some way to go! LOL

Seriously ... For teaching I think the point is that effective communication needs to be between two adult states. If the person we are talking to is in either of the other two states then we can influence that to create effective communication. "the best way to get a person into their adult mode is by listening to their problem and then asking them what you can do to make them happy. This will typically disarm them and get them in their adult mode" (http://www.ehow.com/how_4540233_teach-transactional-analysis.html )

"At the core of Berne's theory is the rule that effective transactions (ie successful communications) must be complementary. They must go back from the receiving ego state to the sending ego state. For example, if the stimulus is Parent to Child, the response must be Child to Parent, or the transaction is 'crossed', and there will be a problem between sender and receiver." (http://www.businessballs.com/transact.htm)

http://manchesterpsychotherapy.net/ta-proper/ - an explanation of transactional analysis proper.

Have just watched this http://www.teachersmedia.co.uk/videos/transactional-analysis video which certainly clarifies how people change their ego state depending on how and what language they are using and also their body language. I suppose what is important about this theory is the need to be aware of our own ego state. By being more parent like another could revert to child like tendencies or respond as another parent this creating a disruptive communication. I suppose by moving a communication to adult to adult state both people are in a state of being reasonable.

If anyone out there has some useful websites or suggested references for me to look at I would be grateful. This is going to take some getting my head around". Thank you.
 
We spent part of our recent lesson comparing how children learn with how adults learn. There are differences:

pedagogy - children

Just absorb information around them




Creative - "think outside the box", e.g. give a child a cardboard box they will play with it and use their imagination to see it as a house, car, kennels etc.

Give a child an tablet and they will just work it out - not bound by preconceptions!

andragogy - adult

Will question whether information is necessary, so adults need motivation to learn new things - Why do I need to know this? Relevance!

Can be constrained by current knowledge about how the world works.




Pedagogy is described as teaching through guiding and Andragogy as teaching through facilitating. So what is the difference I ask ... A guide takes a group up the mountain by a route s/he has determined and makes decisions and the walkers follow. A facilitator would take the walkers and discuss how they are going to climb the mountain, drawing on the walkers experience and allowing them to make decisions, but ultimately keeping them safe as would a guide.

Pedagogy is described as requiring structure and teaching dependent learners verses Andragogy as teaching more independent learners with autonomy, ie an ability to make their own decisions. I think as we grow up we are encourage to develop autonomy within our social constructs. So I suppose that the two types of teaching reflect the difference. However I still believe that as teachers we should see what students we have in front of us and adapt our teaching styles to reflect their needs wither that means giving structure through instruction (a didactic teaching style) or allowing experiential learning through discovery. Perhaps as teachers we are also responsible for combining all the different methods to help students learn that they can learn in different ways. If children are given the opportunity to try different learning styles then they would be more open to it later, so even with children being a guide and a facilitator is possible.

The best theory I heard yesterday was the idea that as children we are pedagogy learners and as we grow we develop into andragogy learners, ie adult learners, but we retain the child like qualities within us. To add to this I think teaching is far more than just giving or facilitating that information is learnt, it is also about creating enthusiasm for learning and for the subject and having the ability to see where their students are currently to show them learning is easy as long as you start from the right place!

I wrote the above a couple of weeks ago but didn't publish as it needed some more thought ... well this week I taught some Year 4s climbing (so aged 8/9/10 I guess). So this gives me an opportunity to think about what I would do differently for adults in this situation. The class was an introduction to climbing using ropes and asking everyone to be involved in the rope work on the ground (belaying) as well as everyone having a go at climbing the indoor wall.

For the children I asked what they had done before (ie gauging experience to build on - I would always do this as it says a lot about expectation of the session, confidence levels and in these sessions potential language barriers as some students where Polish speaking and their English was not good). The aim of the session was to give a climbing experience to everyone and have fun.

The information was taught using the IDEAS model (see previous blog) from putting on the harness & helmet to how to set up and perform belaying to keep the climber safe and also to coming back down the wall. The actual climbing although demonstrated was very much left for the individual to discover, with support from other students or the additional adult. So lots of types of teaching going on: group work to encourage team work and also from my point of view to create a safe system of working that I can monitor (it is possible to teach climbing where the teacher belays each person, but there is a lot of waiting around for turns for students, so can be quite boring). All students are involved in learning climbing by trial and error (discovery learning), and belaying by group work and example. The belaying is taught in one way only (there are several methods i actual fact). If I were teaching adults I might start with a one method but explain more about why it works, whereas with children I tell them that this is what they must do to be safe. So this would be different levels of understanding as shown on the Bloom's Taxonomy scale.

All students got at least one climb (and mostly 2 or 3). Climbs were selected by me to create success. Some children choose not to do more than one climb, but all were very much involved in the belaying. All children were praised. Any issues of fear or "I can't get any higher" were dealt with on an individual basis with specific instructions to get higher (eg "Place you feet on this hold, now push up - can you reach higher?") or peer to peer help or "that's fine well done for getting that high let's get you down ....". There was competition between children, but created by them. Do adults do that or are they more interested in their own success?

To my mind this teaching adults verses children, either way there is a need to assess what is needed and instil motivation in you students. What is different is life experience and expectations and as a teacher we need to be aware of that when we are faced with a group. With experience we learn that children display certain attributes and adults display others, hence the definitions of our big words: pedagogy & andragogy. However within that