In educational psychology it has long been known that people learn in a very individual way. To be an effective teacher or mentor, especially for new subjects, it is better to understand how the pupil learns--- to have a model representing how the pupil learns. Ski teachers in Canada do this; they have a concept of Student Centred Teaching. The model is quite simple and is works with most people that learn to ski. Pupils will fall, when learning into one of the categories:
- Learns by watching. A good listener, prefers to be last in a group.
- Practical and functional. Explainations have little meaning, learns by doing.
- Needs to understand. Asks questions in class.
- Receptive learner, learns by experimentation.
There is more to teaching technique than this, but models like this enable the teacher to know when to stop talking. Models like these have interesting implications for knowledge based jobs like software design. It also illustrates that is possible to learn things about the student that are practical and useful for adapting teaching technique.