Independent Practice During Class Time

Independent Practice During Class Time

Postby Parkallen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:36 am

I've been introducing spans of independent practice time during tai chi form classes. This gives students time and space to practice at their own pace even during a formal class. Simply allowing private practice time seems to be a welcome and very beneficial approach to teaching. Students can then focus on parts that they want to practice rather then what I want to teach. It also requires students to think for themselves; to reflect on which movements they want to practice. I realize in hindsight that when leading exclusively teacher-centred class (not to say that teacher-centred is always bad) the teacher is actually hindering more active forms of mental engagement because the student does not need to make their own decisions. independent practice time also gives a space for different kinds of questions.

When students are practicing on their own, the teacher can walk freely through the space and either offer ideas, or wait for students to offer their own comments. Because independent practice time essentially creates a highly mutable space, students are more comfortable to learn from the teacher since they will not feel guilty or awkward for an interruption of the "class".

I was wondering if any other teachers and students have been using this approach and what their thoughts are on this.
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