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[I should create (and link here) links to learning designs? not just A&F ones.]

See one, do one, teach one

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

Surgeons have a slogan that is a cliché (google), sounds glib, yet contains more educational wisdom than most academics apply to their own courses: "See one, do one, teach one" for each surgical procedure they learn.

It is actually rather deep educationally when it comes to learning skills (as opposed to declarative knowledge). It downplays the reading about the procedure, and the explanation and evidence contained in the reading. But it identifies the separate learning of first the perceptual aspect, then the motor aspect, and finally the overall (metacognitive?) aspect, including being able to talk about it to other people i.e. in terms of public shared concepts. These are the same 3 aspects as in triad 1, although in a different order reflecting the giving of priority to the action over the concept.

See one

In my department, I force my tutorial students in year 3 to read and comment on each others' work. It seems that usually this is the first time in their lives they have read another student's work. So many courses fail even to provide for students "seeing one": i.e provide examples of student work. Instead they are meant to do a task without ever seeing an example.

Some other disciplines typically do better e.g. in science and engineering, "doing a problem" on the board in lectures and tutorials is common. The way mathematicians were slow to give up blackboards and chalk, despite the age of e-everything, is probably connected to this: having to write slows them down to a pace where the audience at least has a chance of seeing the process, as opposed to glancing at the end-product; and the much greater area of the chalk boards allows the whole solution to be over-seen as one, rather than getting tiny gobbets to match the small screen size of one slide at a time.

Do one

In a discipline like History, the students will write numerous such essays: satisfying the "do one" slogan; and similarly for "doing a problem" in science subjects: endless practice at different types. However if in Physics or Psychology we take "doing one" as actually designing and performing an experiment whose outcome is not known in advance, i.e. using the scientific method to discover something unknown, then we typically "do one" only in a final year project at best (and some projects are of different types). Science courses thus often struggle to deliver the "do one" requirement.

Teach one

Traditionally, seminars where students must present in turn are an attempt at this (although without formal testing of the audience and feedback the student teacher may not fully grapple with it). Very few courses actually get students to teach other students, despite the well known mathemagenic properties of this activity.

Dojo (training hall) teaching and learning

The mantra is also consistent with, even if it doesn't explicitly sum up, the common "pyramid of experience" learning design and organisation of many classes for skills such as karate and scuba diving. In such schools there is a group of disciples at various stages, with the Master at the top. In a typical session, the Master will give a talk and demonstration, then the class will break into pairs and the more advanced member of each pair will assist the other as they practise it. This meets the need for large amounts of personal tuition while practising the skill. (With skills, far more of the time is needed for practising than for listening to lectures.) It allows more pupils for one master than the 2-3 apprenticeships the master could otherwise handle. As in the surgical slogan, it captures the benefit to learners of trying to teach another learner.

Note that it isn't strictly "peer" teaching, nor teacher vs. learner, but the common intermediate case. It is often used in "peer-assisted learning": using older students rather than literal peers or formal teaching staff.

This organisation suits conditions where the content is skills, where a student body larger than about 3 must be dealt with by a teacher, and students start at different times and so are at different skill levels. I call it "Dojo" organisation here for convenience, but this setup is not specifically Japanese but is likely to be found just as much in the west as the east, for sewing or scuba diving as for martial arts. It is also the way families with many children have often self-organised themselves.

Medical ward rounds are essentially a mobile Dojo, with a trip round the wards in place of static practice in a single hall. There is one master (consultant) at the top of the pyramid; a hierarchy of degrees of experience below that; but all in turn must act in front of the others.

On the other hand, the difference between a medical research lab and hospital based training is the difference between focussing on the theory or on treating patients even while students learn.

Other notes

Apprenticeships are a bit different than Dojos: both are focussed on practical more than theoretical knowledge, but apprenticeships go with using the labour of learners rather than optimising learning alone. Learners contribute to creating value right from the start, and masters can be more focussed on exploitation than on promoting learning.

Triad relationships

[should this section be a separate web page "triad4"?]
The read/write/discuss triad is not strongly connected to private action; the other triads are not strongly connected to public conceptual learning. Still, it may be worth mapping out how they overlap. After all, for example, the surgeons' "see/do/teach" doesn't state what all modern surgeons nevertheless do, which is to preface all 3 by reading about the procedure and the evidence for its efficacy. Thus the 3 triads may be related to each other as all tacitly being quads: 4-part relations. This brings out the contrast in them as to public vs. private/personal aspects of learning.

Note that Vygotsky focusses on the "public", while the Dojo design and Shulman's "signature pedagogies" focus on the "personal". All applied disciplines judge themselves first by doing rather than understanding. The professions (Law, Medicine, Teaching) are applied disciplines. The signature pedagogies generally put the core procedure / skill / actions at the heart of learning activities (trying for "authenticity").

The first table below compares the triads by adding a fourth element to each which is present in practice but not in the slogans i.e in what is prominent and emphasised.

The second table below shows how these 4-tuples (quads) are generated or "predicted" by crossing the public/personal underlying dimension with what appears in the Laurillard model as the teacher/learner dimension, but which here is a more general in/out, receive/transmit, sensori/motor dimension.

Relating the 3 triads as actually quads
mode The concept (public) Personal perceptual skill Personal action skill Teach others (make public)
Public, conceptual Personal, experiential Public, conceptual
surgeons (Read up on it) See one Do one Teach one
Dojo (Master presents to all briefly) See it done repeatedly in pairs Practise it in pairs Mentor others e.g. younger students
bioethics course Hear lecture on ethical principles Learn to recognise issues/cases in your own existing practice or context Review your own practice, decide changes (Discuss with peers and teacher)
Bacon, Johnson Reading (recognising examples to use; searching for them) Discussing (i.e. debating) Writing

Seeing the triads, quads as generated by a 2 X 2 space
Public, conceptual Personal, experiential
Take in. Receive Read or hear a lecture See one; connect to past experience
Send out. Act Teach others Do one; debate

Do I have a resolution of whether writing or calc. is a task in the sense of L-model's private lower half?

What about my TM comments on the value of these L-designs?

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