Melissa J. Peterson
PSY 110A Principles of Adult Learning
Warner Pacific College
February 24, 2014
Adult Teaching Analysis Essay
The location I chose for this topic was a dance studio located in Vancouver, Washington. I selected a beginner’s belly-dancing class for adults. Immediately walking into the dance room I felt at ease. The warm colored hard-wood floors and well light room provided a sense of balance. The far left wall was covered by a wall length mirror which also held a ballet bar. The far back wall was small blocks of glass to allow light through and to see the vegetation outside. The entire room itself was not very big. It was about the size of a living room. The tall ceiling gave the room the appearance of more space. This particular location was selected based on how close it was to my home and that the instructor did not mind that I sat quietly and observed. I had called a few other dance studios in which they wanted me to pay for the pleasure. Deciding what topic to observe I had to weight carefully. I wanted to watch something that I haven’t seen before in order to really capture the instructors learning style, I also wanted something I wasn’t interested in particularly learning myself, so that I wouldn’t get caught up in what was being taught, but would be able to focus on the students and how they soaked up the knowledge being provided. Being an instructor for a dance class you have to incorporate all styles of learning in order for the students to grasp. I am going to focus primarily on the kinesthetic type of learning. In attendance were about six students all with different levels of dancing experience. The instructor did not stand in the front of the class to instruct, but in the middle alongside the students. Had she not have been talking, one could have mistaken her as a student. The music started and she started moving her hips. The students followed course. The instructor started to provide direct for the students in which the followed. Five minutes into the song, the instructor started walking around the students and adjusted their arms, told them to bring their legs closer together, or lowed their shoulders. The students continued to perform the one move they started. After the first song was over, the instructor gave a speech about what type of class they were in and what her expectations where. She stated that if the students felt like they were not understanding to keep moving, don’t stop and look to their left, right and center. Watch how their peers moved. This is a beginner’s class and try not to focus on the fact that you aren’t moving like the instructor, that is was going to take time and practice. She told them not to give up. Eventually it would all click. With that, she shimmed her way back to the middle of the class and demonstrated their next move. The music went on and she danced alongside the group, keeping count, yelling instructions and motivation. After two minutes of each new move she would wander around and provide individual guidance. After her walk around she would continue moving alongside her students. She did this through the entire class. The instructor was energetic and supportive. She knew how the body should look while performing the move and knew how a beginners body would respond to the movements and was able to provide a visual of both so that the student could see where they need to realign.
In listening to the instructor and watching the students move their bodies according to her guidance and visual movement requests, it was difficult to pick out which student hadn’t had any dance lessons before. By making the students jump right in and start moving, knowing they did not understand the movements themselves seemed effective. In my observation the kinesthetic learner would greatly benefit from this type of teaching style. In reading Learn More Now by M Conner pg. 49 it describes how to work with a kinesthetic…