Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Moved to mirror: pre-HICP-suasion

Getting some learners (and instructors) to engage in kinaesthetic and haptic classroom exercises (mirroring the PMP of the instructor or video model) can be a challenge. Over the years I have gotten better at introducing the systematic use of pedagogical movement patterns to those new to the idea--but occasionally I encounter serious resistance from  a student or conference workshop participant.

2010 Research by Ondobaka of Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands,  de Lange, Wiemers, and Bekkering of Radboud and Newman-Norlund of the University of South Carolina, summarized by Science Daily highlights why that may happen: "people only feel the urge to mimic each other when they have the same goal." It is not enough to just try and convince them to relax and be receptive to what is ahead when mirroring is involved, they must have bought into a more focused, shared objective or rationale for what it will accomplish.

That came as quite a revelation to me at one point. I had been over-relying on the physical experience, without much explicit justification, to persuade. Too often that did not work sufficiently for all the audience to actively participate in the haptic exercises for the duration of the session. In a later post I will post a script and accompanying video piece that embodies all the key arguments for HICP work up front, for use in the classroom. Not persuaded yet? It will only take a "mirror," moving explanation, I'm sure.

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