Exaggerate to Teach

My wife was watching a Clinton Anderson video on training horses.  I was fascinated.  The man was training a horse at the same time he was teaching us how to train a horse and the horse was not necessarily his best student!

Once he was showing how to indicate to the horse to go right or to go left by using a florid arm signal.  He said, “Exaggerate to teach.  Refine as you go along.”  I think I often do this in class.  Generally it has the form of generalization ( Yes I know what I just wrote.) stated emphatically.  For instance I might say, “Always multiply the equation by the common denominator.” “Does it always work?,” a student may ask.  “Yes,” I reply, “but there are sometimes faster methods that I will show you later.”  Exaggerate then refine.

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About jrh794

I am a sixty-five year old math instructor at Southern Oregon University. I taught at the College of the Siskiyous in Weed California for twenty-six years. Prior to that I worked as a computer programmer, carpenter and in various other jobs. I graduated from Rice University in 1967 and have a MS in Operations Research from Stanford. In the past I have hand-built a stone house and taken long solo bicycle tours. Now I ride my mountain bike and play golf for recreation.
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