Re: Skill advancement through experience

John Carr (
Sun, 26 Jul 1992 20:44 EST

> In J. Carr's example of horse catching, we have this guy who lassoes
> horses really well. He says to himself (with no pushing) "I wonder if
> there's a better way to do this. Hmm. Horses can jump, but only if they
> are going fast enough will they get over a fence [Note: I actually have
> no clue how horse jumping works]. Maybe if I put a fence here and drive
> them into the fenced in area, I can catch more." You think that only
> a few people think of original ideas about doing specific tasks? I disagree.

Ouch. I think that last statement just put a lot of teachers out of business.

I disagree because it sounds like you're promoting that all people are equal in
specific tasks when giving the fundamental ideas about the task. I don't
believe that everyone who learned how to catch horses would formulate
additional methods. They might, however, see someone else doing it and decide
that is the better method, but may have trouble actually "doing" it.

In the example, someone may try building the fence and herding the horses in.
In what way will the fence be built? How do we direct the horses into this
fence? How do we keep them there? Why should we, we seem to be doing great
with the lassoing? We are wasting are time with this, since we've only caught
two horses in three months? ...

I think the example of catching horses might be too general. I think given a
lot of time and actually TRYING to come up with better methods, a unit might
come up with a method better than the current (one level higher), but there
could be many failures, many delays.

My gut feeling is that 1/2 the training is too steep. How about 1/5? I know
that if it was at 1/2, most of my units would be banking on the USEing to
advance in that particular subskill. The more men, the easier the decision.
Why wouldn't I? I would not only be benefitting from the skill, but also
saving money to boot. Wouldn't this also benefit skills that take longer to
perform? How about having a fixed amount of days for any skill? Meaning I
would catch horses for 21 days, but I would only get x days experience.

Perhaps, experience by "using", should decrease as time goes on. For example,
the first time I catch horses, I get 1/2, second time, 1/3, third time, 1/4.

> I think experience should play some part in learning at all times. As
> Rich said, it shouldn't be as efficient as teaching or studying, because
> the stuff you learn via those methods are already known, where as you
> actually have to think to learn by yourself.

I know. I agree to some extent. Just throwing in additional ideas.

John Carr <>

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