The Learning Process
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Process of Learning

Learning is a process
There are many different learning types and approaches to learning. Research demonstrates that there are two separate activities that occur in the learning cycle:
  • perception (the way we take in information) and
  • processing (how we deal with information).

       This is represented on the diagram as two axis dividing the cycle into four quadrants.

Each quadrant represents different learning processes as follows:

  • Converging processes relate to bringing a number of perspectives to finding a single answer – usually right or wrong. You may use this way of thinking in a scientific context.
  • Diverging processes are about generating a number of accounts of different experiences. Typically, these are more creative processes.
  • Assimilating processes describe (roughly) the taking in of new knowledge.
  • Accommodating processes describe (again, roughly) the related of the new knowledge to our prior experiences and beliefs.

Kolb’s model (based on experiential learning theory) identifies four modes in the learning cycle:

  • Concrete Experimentation
  • Reflection
  • Abstract Conceptualization
  • Active Experimentation.

Basically, this is a fancy way of saying that we learn by:

  • Doing something (Concrete Experimentation)
  • Thinking about it (Reflection)
  • Doing some research
  • Talking with others and applying what we already know to the situation (Abstract Conceptualization)
  • Doing something new or doing the same thing in a more sophisticated way based on our learning (Active Experimentation).
Learning Online
         Learning is learning. It’s just that the activities you engage in with your online class may be different. In the diagram above, we have also incorporated Honey and Mumford’s learning types associated with Kolb’s model. We’ve identified some of the online learning activities which may be particularly appealing for the learning types identified.

Honey and Mumford (1982) identified four learning types associated with Kolb’s modes in the learning cycle:

  • Activists
  • Reflectors
  • Theorists
  • Pragmatists.
Source - The University of British Columbia the learning process

Kolb's Learning Styles

Note: David Kolb developed his model over many years. He published his
learning styles model in 1984.  In his book Experiential Learning: Experience
As The Source Of Learning And Development
' published in 1984, Kolb acknow-
ledges the early work on experiential learning by others in the 1900's, including
Rogers, Jung, and Piaget. In turn, Kolb's learning styles model and experiential
learning theory are today recognized by academics, teachers, managers and trainers
as truly seminal works; fundamental concepts towards our understanding and
explaining human learning behavior, and towards helping others to learn.

Applying these learning/teaching concepts to sports can be accomplished

A Master Training Plan requires a time schedule for the acquisition of skills

      Figure skating requires athletes to acquire different types of skills. For each individual, the process of acquiring and perfecting these skills occur at different rates depending on athletes personality, natural skills, availability of practice sessions, and the training goals of the plan devised by the instructor or coach.

      Most skaters can acquire the ability to perform the basic edges, stroking, crossovers, and turns providing they focus on developing these skills rather than spending too much effort on attempting to acquire free skating skills. It is a common situation with beginning skaters who aspire to learn to free skate while dismissing the need to developing their basic skating skills concurrently with efforts to jump and spin.

In every sport, athletes must conquer Physical and Mental Barriers barriers!

       Jumping and Multi-revolutions -  Skaters who excel in jumping have more assertive, positive personalities who will attempt to imitate other skaters if not introduced to good jumping technique in group classes or private lessons.

Anthropometry of Figure Skating    There are certainly some body builds which are more suited for skating than others. Also, due to differences in body size, strength, and power, there are differences in the ladies' programs as compared to the men's programs.   

The Florida State University   Values such as independence and assertiveness become more obvious. .... the idea that female ice skaters cannot jump as high as male athletes or the achieve multi-revolution jumps is like breaking the 4 minute miles was a mental barrier on runners. An analysis the rhetoric surrounding women's figure skating.

The Basis for Training...  which increases their self-esteem and reflects a strong personality.

       Spinning -  is a skill that some skaters have difficulty acquiring because they lack the ability to compensate for dizziness caused by their middle ear.

Vertigo   Vertigo is a false sensation of moving or spinning or of objects moving or spinning, usually accompanied by nausea or lack of loss of balance.

Inner Ear/Balance Nerve Causes of Vertigo  There are many symptoms - lightheadedness, imbalance, and a spinning sensation - that are all commonly referred to as dizziness, but each can arise from completely different causes.

Why don't figure skaters get dizzy?    Spinning may cause dizziness: at the beginning of the spin, when the skaters are not yet used to the sensation, and at the end, when they must get re-acclimated to relative stillness.

How to Spin Without Losing Your Lunch

      Step sequences and transitions between required free skating elements are essential in the development of a well balanced free skating program. Athletes initially practice their jump and spin elements separately. The is a problem when combining the required elements in a continuously flowing program that varies in length according to the event.  Performing an error free program with difficult elements interspersed through out the length of the program requires stamina and consistency.

How to Choreograph a Free Skating Program

How to Choreograph an Artistic Skating Program
Benefits of General Physical Preparedness
      General Physical Preparedness (GPP) plays a vital role in developing every athlete's physical abilities. As they progress their movements become effortless and both good and poor quality motor skills are reinforced. GPP is great for developing motor skills.

      Athletes need to schedule performing the same tasks at the beginning and end of a practice session to duplicate their performance in a free skating program. The reasoning behind this that every skater is affected from mental and physical fatigue starting approximately 50% through their program, depending on their conditioning. The longer the program, the more acute the skater's fatigue factors into the possibility of serious errors.

      The key to success in any athletic performance is making the difficult tasks easy to perform. Repetitions engrain the motor patterns into the subconscious mind and allow the skill(s) to be performed even as fatigue sets in. Fatigue causes mental and physical skills to degrade, so achieving good technique is very important in performing the movements automatically when fatigued.
Skipping Rope 
      Simple rope skipping is also great to enhance your agility - the ability to rapidly change directions without the loss of speed, balance, or body control.  Increasing foot mobility is one of the results of jumping rope. However, as fatigue sets in basic rhythm and tempo begins to break down. 

      Use a progressive system of increasing quickness and length of sessions. GPP should be done on a daily basis not only to enhance a skater's workload threshold and motor skill development, but their concentration level during difficult training.

      Athletes need to perform difficult tasks under difficult conditions to increase reactive strength and reflexes. A program of testing and evaluation of motor skill development is essential to achieving training goals. Testing should measure all qualities an athlete needs to become successful.

Recommended Reading:

Fundamental motor skill development
      The fundamental skill phase of development begins in early childhood at about two to three years, and individuals have the potential to be fully proficient in most of them by about six years.

      Fundamental motor skills (i.e. hopping, jumping, skipping, kicking, throwing, catching etc.) are prerequisites to learning of sport specific skills (basketball, football, gymnastics, tennis, badminton, etc.).  Sport specific skills are comprised of fundamental skills. It is very difficult to obtain proficiency in sport skills unless the prerequisite fundamental skills are present.  A person's gross motor skill development depends on both their muscle tone and strength.

Gross Motor Skill Development
      Gross motor skills are defined as the movements of the large muscles of the body that involve such essential activities such as walking and sitting upright, plus sports related skills such as kicking, lifting, throwing a ball, etc..

      There are five senses that are commonly discussed: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. One overlooked sense, known as proprioception and kinesthesia, is the sensation of joint motion and acceleration that provides the sensory feedback mechanisms for motor control and posture. This sense allows the brain to unconsciously keep the body oriented and balanced while sending out immediate and unconscious adjustments to the muscles and joints in order to achieve movement and balance.

        A great amount of training in motor activities relies on enhancing propreception activities.  Proprioception input comes from sensory receptors or nerves inside the body rather than on the skin's surface.

      Learning any new motor skill involves training our body's proprioceptive sense which involves our ability to move our arms or legs in a precise way without looking at them.  Proprioception is so automatic that our conscious mind barely notices it. Thus it does not receive the attention it deserves in a training program; however, the ability can be trained, as can any other motor activity.

      Gross motor skills include:

Fine Motor Skill Development  Fine motor skills are our ability to use our fingers, hands, and arms together to reach, grasp, manipulate small objects such as forks, spoons, crayons and scissors.  Through the process of coordinating Fine Motor Skills integrated with our abilities enable us to learn complex skills such as tying a shoe lace, fastening buttons, eating with a fork & knife, and printing, handwriting, typing, etc.

Sensory Integration  Sensory Integration deals with how the brain processes multiple sensory modality inputs into usable functional outputs. It is believed that inputs from different sensory organs are processed in different areas in the brain. However, different regions of the brain may not be solely responsible for only one sensory modality, but could use multiple inputs to perceive what the body senses about its environment.

      The communication within and between specialized areas of the brain is known as functional integration. Sensory integration is necessary for every activity that we perform because the combination of multiple sensory inputs is essential for us to comprehend our surroundings.

Hand-Eye Coordination  Eye–hand coordination is complex because it involves the visual guidance of both the eyes and hands, while simultaneously using eye movements to optimize vision.  Normal eye–hand coordination involves the synergistic function of several sensorimotor systems, including the visual system, vestibular system, proprioception, and the eye, head, and arm control systems, plus aspects of cognition like attention and memory.

Eye-hand Coordination   What is eye- hand coordination?

Visual Motor Skills - training eye/hand coordination, visual    They range from simple to quite difficult, training eye/hand coordination, visual closure, visual scanning, visual tracking, and fine motor control.
How to Improve Hand-Eye Coordination


How to Build Speed and Agility

How to Do Speed and Agility Drills for Kids

Stages of Youth Athletic Development

The Four Stages of Learning a Skill

The Basic Elements of Shaping: The strategy for developing and modifying sporting behaviors

Stages of learning

Learning Sports Skills and Motor Development

Learning process when acquiring motor skills similar for all individuals

Learning and Learning Theories  Stages of Learning. Observation of improvements in performance led researchers to suggest a teacher can help ensure positive transfer of learning in sport skills.

Physical Education (HKDSE) The knowledge and skills acquired in this part also help students explain and regulate the process of motor learning and enhance their sports performance.

Coach's Corner - Power Motivation  Negative motivation can result in excessive anxiety and tension, while positive motivation tends too positively energize and arouse

Skill Development Environment:

Mental Training:
The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organization/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
Process of Learning
Principles of Training
Trainability of Children
Writing Goals & Objectives
Purpose of a Syllabus
Purpose of a Lesson Plan
Focus Groups
PDF  Trainability of Children
PDF  Trainability of Young Athletes
PDF  Writing Objectives

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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