There’s a great debate among experts weather teaching is an art or a science. I believe its an art, particularly in the further education sectors, where people studying are generally of a hands on nature and like a practical approach to their learning. Persons studying in these sectors are also creative and like their learning to be delivered in a creative manner.
But for many years, teaching methods focused on a science based approach – rigid in its delivery methods. Methods such as lecturing, one-way communication, and lots of power point slides. Now don’t get me wrong, these methods have a role to play, but when one studies the adult learning principles it becomes apparent that these methods can be very hit and miss, and learning may not occur. In fact these methods have been described as mechanical and on their own may not contribute to true learning.
The art approach, on the other hand, adapts a more engaging and creative approach. In fact, the art approach has elements of magic in it, and when combined with the mechanical elements of planning, preparing and communicating, it then becomes an art form. The magic starts when we understand how adults learn, or what many academics describe as the adult learning principles. The magic also occurs when you bring your own style to the classroom and when you use methods which: motivate, encourage, support, and facilitate. Confidence also has a role to play in the magic and when you understand the ingredients for developing confidence, the magic will really flow.
And here’s the really great part; hair & beauty professionals already have many of the ingredients needed to become great teachers. They are already gifted with creativity and deliver their services through an art form. They plan, prepare communicate, and use their artistic skills to produce a specific outcome. And teaching is no different. Its an art – and perfectly suited for those in the hair & beauty sectors. One other thing about approaching teaching from the ‘art form’ angle; it becomes much more achievable to reach your teaching goals.
Listen to Derek O Kelly speak on the Art of Teaching at the Irish Beauty Show –
Sunday 1.30pm and Monday 12.30pm
Derek O Kelly is Education Manager at The Waverley Academy & author of Irelands first teaching book for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy & Fitness