Thursday, September 20, 2007

Knowing and teaching...

... aren't quite the same things:

She knows that there is a step-by-step pattern, and she is aware that the larger part of the equestrian world understands it and communicates with it, but she cannot.

She can accomplish the tasks, she spent six years of sweaty, grimy, painful work acclimating her body to a culture that was quite foreign to her in the beginning.

She has absorbed the culture. She can mount the horse and perform the tasks without even thinking about them.

But that's the trouble, she can't think about them. Her body has learned the language, but the brain has not. It sort of happened by osmosis.

A student can ask her "How do you such and such?" and The Equuschick's response is "I actually have no idea."

Hence the closed eyes, the muttering, and the careful step-by-step parade across the arena.

OK, be honest here. If you're over the age of, say, seven, haven't you been in a similar situation, where you have learned something so well it's second nature to you, and therefore, especially at first, it's almost impossible to teach it to someone else? Haven't you been reduced to saying, "I don't know, I just do it," or "You add enough flour until the dough just feels right," or something else along those lines that's truthful but of precious little use to the person listening to you, if they don't already know what you're talking about?

Been there.

On the other hand, a point Equuschick makes at the end of her post is a good one. Sometimes the best way to learn is to teach. My husband likes to have his seasoned employees train the new employees, at least for part of the job. Sometimes it's even money which one learns more, the rookie or the pro.

Read the whole post here.

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