Well, I didn't know if I should post this or not, since in a way it has nothing to do with art but I thought it could maybe help some people, who are currently mentoring/teaching. So I've decided to post it anyway.
THE ART OF TEACHING
Teacher-guided or student-guided
Well, I am not going to talk about art but about teaching since teaching takes such an important role in this community. Teaching in itself is a skill that can be learned, and as with all skills there are certain theories behind it. Knowing these theories will help you in getting the information you want to give to another person across. These are basically some simple basics every teacher ought to know. I thought it was best to post this in the mentor section, since the focus over here is mostly on teaching. (I presume)
Before I start I have to say; I am by far no expert on this subject, and I have to translate all the terms from Dutch into English, so if I make a mistake, don't hesitate to say so. Also what I say isn't the 'right' way, it is just my view on teaching and what I have learned but there are many more ways to approach this subject matter.
I want to start with writing a bit about teacher-guided and student guided 'classes'. These are basically the 2 main variants of teaching you have. With the first one the teacher decides what the students learn and with the second one the student is mainly working for hiself and the teacher helps him/her to find the right way. You can further separate these two variants into 4 'sub' variants.
The teacher basically 'ignores' differences between students. The teacher decides what is going to be learned, how fast it is going to be learned and how it is going to be learned. A simple example is; have someone read an anatomy book and learn it out of his head before a certain date. This is a way of teaching that can become very boring, both for the teacher, but also for the student.
Just as with uniform teaching the students get the same goals that they all have to finish at the same time. The big difference however is that you use different "teaching methods" to 'spice' up the lessons. So instead of let them open the anatomy book constantly, also show a movie about anatomy, or bring in some of the old masters anatomy work and let them study that for a while etc. etc.
This is actually a mix between student guided and teacher guided, but I think it tends to be far more student guided so I put it over here. With this way of teaching you focus yourself on the differences between the students. It is basically one step further from diverse teaching. The teacher still decides the goals to learn, but the students choose how and how fast they do it. For example giving them an assignment like: Study the bones and muscles in the human body, and let them decide how they are going to learn the bones and muscles. The role of the teacher in this case is to help them find the answer instead of immediately giving it to them.
Autodidacted or self-directed learning
The students decide their own goals and set up how they want to get there. The teacher helps them with setting up the right goals and getting to those goals. So when you have the example that I wrote above instead of giving the task: Study the bones and muscles in the human body you set up the theme anatomy. It is for the students to decide what they want to learn of the subject matter, how they are going to learn it, and how long they are going to take learning it. Once again the teachers role is to guide the student through this process.
The above is basically one of the first things you decide when teaching. What am I going to teach, and how am I going to teach it. What role do I want to take in the progress of the student? This is different with each and every theme. Sometimes it is better to do it one way and sometimes it is better to do it the other. It is something that you have to learn through experience I suppose to know what works best for you.
Well... that is the end of part 1, I will post part 2 as soon as I've finished writing it. It's quite a bit of reading work, but I hope people will learn something from it
edit: If you have questions, feel free to ask.