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Author Topic: Goal-oriented vs. Process-oriented learning  (Read 2231 times)
GreenEyes26
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« on: March 12, 2011, 06:45:28 PM »

A post in another dance forum described children learning tennis: the coach told them to hit the ball into the other court. As they did so, the children figured out the technique of getting the ball into the court. This is what I refer to when I say "goal-oriented": the student has a goal and figures out the process in getting to that destination. At one of my lessons, my Standard teacher wanted me to initiate a movement, but I wasn't understanding. She then took the lead's position and had me dance the figure. "Ok," she said and brought me back to where we started. Still in our same roles (her as the man, me as the lady), she said, "Lead me to where you want me to go." It took a few tries, but I began to understand which part of my body was to initiate the movement. I saw this as a similar goal-oriented learning format.

In contrast, process-oriented is when the teacher tells the student the steps to the goal. The student then tries to perform the steps correctly in order to get to the goal. One significant example of this is the Standard syllabus book.

What are your thoughts on these two types of learning in dancing? When do you like to use one, and when do you like to use the other?
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 ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
elisedance
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2011, 06:59:45 PM »

I'm very much goal oriented - but I suspect these have to be related to the individual, in particular their personal method of learning.  I'm almost entirely kinesthetic - I learn by running through the process so its almost self-evident that I would be goal oriented and not process.  Perhaps (they will have to speak for themselves) dancers that are visual or aural learners may yet learn better by a focus on process or a combination of the two aproaches.
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QPO
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2011, 08:47:39 PM »

Yes I work on a mutual  goal, that we discuss at the beginning of our new season. We are both self motivated and train a lot compare to other couples but we really enjoy training a much a competing so that helps. we put goals on our training as well.

It works well for us!
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Dance Forum
Spiral
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 01:57:05 AM »

I think I'm a bit of both. I need to know the goal in order to understand and remember the process. I like when my instructors break down a figure into small specific steps, it means I don't have to second guess on how a particular figure is achieved. But if I forget some step in the process, I can work it out by experiment if I know what the end goal is supposed to look like.
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elisedance
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2011, 07:52:23 AM »

IMO goal-oriented learning is far more effective for the simple reason that our bodies are way to complex to actually learn all the elements of a process that makes a movement.  Breaking it down to each part can get you to the point of doing the skeleton of a step but it can not get you to dancing it.  At some point you have to forget all the elements so that, if you like, the heart rules and not the head.  For me at least learning the parts actually impedes me learning the step or sequence. 

OTOH if you only learn by object you run the danger of never learning how to use your body in dancing.  Thus, I would say that process is essential for learning fundamental movements - for example how to fall, core contractions, foot motions - but actually dancing you really need to use object based learning.
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2011, 10:51:14 AM »

I think either way is effective and depends on you brain and how you learn & operate.  Similar to doing Myers-Briggs Tendency Indicators etc

I learn by process because I like detail.  It is the way I am.  I know what the goal is & can work it out for myself if I need to but I prefer to learn by process.  This applies to other aspects of life as well.  Either way, you eventually get to the same place with the result that you want.  Which way is faster or slower, I think it depends on you.
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millitiz
Intermediate Bronze

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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2011, 02:08:25 PM »

Interesting topic.

I remember in Marcus and Karen Hilton's interview (2004) they said that if the couples are more advance (and goodness know what they meant by that!), they would tell what the couple want to achieve, instead of how to achieve it exactly (Right foot forward, and turn 139.5 degree...). And it make sense, considering that people at that level are well trained in their own school of thoughts (which might differs from the Hiltons'), it might be easier to teach them this way. Whereas for the more beginning couples, they would go into the details.

And indeed, it make sense, what is the point of asking people to create the look of beauty while they couldn't even close/collect their feet (or for that matter, having two right feet)?

Although I'd argue that even for the visual learner (or more so), it could be goal oriented. In standard at least, I think I am both visual and kinesthetic learner. I mostly learn by looking, and memorize the feeling, and practice with the feeling. In terms of learning (at least the steps), I am a super visual learner. My instructors would show how a step is done correctly (which provides a goal to achieve - this is what I want to look like), and I'd simply watch once or twice, and just copy and do it. And I think that is how the youth/junior learn to dance. Although I also need to add, I have a few years of training in details before me learning as a visual learner. Not sure if that changes anything.


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millitiz
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Posts: 220


« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2011, 02:18:41 PM »

IMO, both orientations have their advantages and disadvantages - and both compliment each others.

On one hand, the right details produce the right pictures/goals. So if one do all the details correctly, one would probably get the right picture/goal at the end. Although depends on how one learn it, one might loose the flexibility and the expressiveness of dancing.

On the other hand, on the competition, the couples are judged by the whole package. So it make sense to look from the big picture/goal. But there is always the danger of overlooking some of the details.
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2011, 03:37:37 PM »

I find it really interesting to know how other people learn as there is a lot of variation.  Plus there are all the adult learning/child learning theories.  I think process and goal are interdependent, which comes first - you need the process to get the goal and the goal to get the process??

I like to know how everything is done & why.  This applies to dance as well but at the same time I remember the feeling so I know if it is what I want it to be in practice, I hadnt' thought of this in anyway other than process but guess that is a mix.

The danger of only having a goal is that you might never achieve it without explanation/help/details.  For example at a past studio, there was very little detail and a lot goals.  The result was a funny bunch of standard dancers that contorted their toplines into positions that impeded their dancing and could not have been comfortable with no advice or correction on how to actually achieve the desired topline.  Similarly in social classes there were lots of "steps" taught with few people dancing.
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Dance like you're going to fall over
QPO
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2011, 09:05:46 PM »

Interesting topic.


Although I'd argue that even for the visual learner (or more so), it could be goal oriented. In standard at least, I think I am both visual and kinesthetic learner. I mostly learn by looking, and memorize the feeling, and practice with the feeling. In terms of learning (at least the steps), I am a super visual learner. My instructors would show how a step is done correctly (which provides a goal to achieve - this is what I want to look like), and I'd simply watch once or twice, and just copy and do it. And I think that is how the youth/junior learn to dance. Although I also need to add, I have a few years of training in details before me learning as a visual learner. Not sure if that changes anything.


I learn exactly the same way, I learn through visual and feel and I have a good memory for that. Not sure if there is a better way or right way but in the end it is what works for you....
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Dance Forum
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 09:09:36 PM »

The other things I will comment on abut a goal is that you must remain flexible/ fluid. You need to be able to adjust to get to that goal. If your approach is not working or giving you the outcome you were trying to attain then you need to rethink the approach and not the goal. Or was the goal too unrealistic in the first place ie. I want to be world champion by the end of the year and you only started dancing two months ago!

If you can build your goals incrementally then you will see great improvements IMO
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millitiz
Intermediate Bronze

Posts: 220


« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011, 11:59:18 PM »

I find it really interesting to know how other people learn as there is a lot of variation.  Plus there are all the adult learning/child learning theories.  I think process and goal are interdependent, which comes first - you need the process to get the goal and the goal to get the process??

I like to know how everything is done & why.  This applies to dance as well but at the same time I remember the feeling so I know if it is what I want it to be in practice, I hadnt' thought of this in anyway other than process but guess that is a mix.

The danger of only having a goal is that you might never achieve it without explanation/help/details.  For example at a past studio, there was very little detail and a lot goals.  The result was a funny bunch of standard dancers that contorted their toplines into positions that impeded their dancing and could not have been comfortable with no advice or correction on how to actually achieve the desired topline.  Similarly in social classes there were lots of "steps" taught with few people dancing.

I think people use the phrases goal/process slightly differently.

IMHO, the goal of dancing as an art is simple: dancing is to express beauty - whether in terms of balance, harmony, dynamic, power, etc.
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pinkstuff
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 04:50:30 AM »


I think people use the phrases goal/process slightly differently.

IMHO, the goal of dancing as an art is simple: dancing is to express beauty - whether in terms of balance, harmony, dynamic, power, etc.

Too true :-)  Agree the goal is simple but difficult to achieve sometimes!
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elisedance
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2011, 05:55:56 AM »

I find it really interesting to know how other people learn as there is a lot of variation.  Plus there are all the adult learning/child learning theories.  I think process and goal are interdependent, which comes first - you need the process to get the goal and the goal to get the process??

I like to know how everything is done & why.  This applies to dance as well but at the same time I remember the feeling so I know if it is what I want it to be in practice, I hadnt' thought of this in anyway other than process but guess that is a mix.

The danger of only having a goal is that you might never achieve it without explanation/help/details.  For example at a past studio, there was very little detail and a lot goals.  The result was a funny bunch of standard dancers that contorted their toplines into positions that impeded their dancing and could not have been comfortable with no advice or correction on how to actually achieve the desired topline.  Similarly in social classes there were lots of "steps" taught with few people dancing.

I think people use the phrases goal/process slightly differently.

IMHO, the goal of dancing as an art is simple: dancing is to express beauty - whether in terms of balance, harmony, dynamic, power, etc.

Yes, you have to define your goal before you can try to reach it! And yes, you define the goal of dancing nicely, but the goal of dancesport is quite different.  It is to be percieved by judges to be dancing better.  And theirin lies the conundrum....
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samina
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 12:45:31 PM »

nice comments. i orient toward both goal & process... always start out with the end in mind, then build toward that, either with logical steps or just by focusing on the fundamentals that will naturally build toward the end product.

sometimes there is such a distance to be covered by fundamentals in the process that it can seem to take one away from the goal, but...eventually it clicks. so for me, fluidity and following my intuition & inner guidance is paramount. well, with all things. Cheesy
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