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Old April 4, 2013, 10:42 AM   #1
pax
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Instructor Ethics 101: Would you bet your life on that?

From my blog at http://www.corneredcat.com/instructor-ethics-101/. Thought I'd share it here, too. When you look for a teacher, look for someone who understands this. When you become a teacher, become the sort of person who understands this and lives it. Don't shortchange your students.

***

When you step up to teach a self-defense class, you are literally asking students to bet their lives on the quality of the information you have and on your ability to teach it to them. This is no exaggeration, but just the simple truth. Students come to you looking for the knowledge and skill that can save their lives some dark night. If you fail to teach them well, if you teach them the wrong things, if you give them half an answer or a bad answer, they may pay for your failure with their heart’s blood. Understanding this – really understanding it – should scare you down to your toenails. It should force you to become better and better as a shooter, as a teacher, as a learner, as a student of self-defense. It should jar you out of complacency and drive you to do your best with every class you teach. People’s lives are in your hands.

Sometimes I fear that not all firearms instructors understand this. “I’m just teaching beginners,” I have heard some say – as if they have some private guarantee that none of their beginners will ever really need the things they teach. Or as if it doesn’t matter whether a beginner is started right. But even a beginner needs a solid foundation they can safely build upon, not some half-hearted construct cobbled together of cardboard and glue and hope.

I have even heard some handgun instructors deny that they are teaching self-defense. “It’s just a carry permit class,” they say — as if people carry guns for any other purpose. Or, “I’m just teaching them to use a handgun, that’s all.” But if your students think otherwise, if they come to you to learn skills they think they can use to protect themselves and their loved ones, you’re still on the hook. It’s so tempting to engage in these kinds of denials, and maybe that’s a more comfortable place for us to live as instructors, but it does our students no good.

There’s something related, scary, within the women’s side of the firearms world right now. Maybe it’s always been there, and I’m just becoming more attuned to it. But I keep running into this idea that we can give our students what they need without ever challenging them, without ever pushing their skills and without any risk of hurting their feelings. Everything must always be fun, fun, fun – sweetness and light and hallelujah! But … when we’re talking about self-defense, we’re actually talking about some very serious matters. We can and do have fun on the range, but it’s fun with a deadly serious purpose. And sometimes that purpose will drive us straight through the heart some very personal territory, which is the kind of journey you cannot take without risk.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m a strong believer in encouraging words and positive attitudes. At the same time, those encouraging words should be true, and they should be appropriate. There are times when the most encouraging, appropriate thing to say to your student is, “You can do better than that.” It is good and right to celebrate success, but even better to celebrate earned success.

For me, I have always had a struggle with wanting my students to like me, to think I’m a nice person and fun to be around. Most of the time, there’s nothing wrong with that. But my students don’t come to me to be my pals. They come to me to learn. If my desire to be super nice and super sweet actually gets them killed someday, then I haven’t been nice to them at all.

In order to fulfill my most important responsibility to my students, I have to risk pushing them beyond their comfort levels. And I have to do it in a way that will cause them to work harder rather than to shut down. If I’m not willing to take that risk for the sake of my students’ lives, I have no right to call myself a self-defense instructor.

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Old April 4, 2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
I keep running into this idea that we can give our students what they need without ever challenging them, without ever pushing their skills and without any risk of hurting their feelings. Everything must always be fun, fun, fun – sweetness and light and hallelujah!
I find it really depressing that that's still part of the picture among women -- and in the firearms world, of all places. That whole dynamic is an outgrowth of second-wave feminism, and it's always been one of the things I've liked least about it. "Mustn't criticize, mustn't speak ill of a sister..." :upchuck:

I've had a lot of conversations with other women in which I've pointed out how demeaning it is to treat people as if they're too weak, too sensitive to hear the truth, or even a negative opinion, about something they're doing. Part of treating people with respect -- like adults -- is to assume that they're capable of hearing constructive criticism for what it is.

Funnily enough, the other evening I was rereading Erin Solaro's thread, "Wo/Men, Handguns and Self-Defense." I can't help being struck by the parallel between the attitude you describe and one that came up early in that conversation. I wrote in that thread:
Quote:
For many feminists this translates to a belief that to engage in violence, including the use of force in self-defense, is "male-identified," and that the solution is to change the culture, not to become part of the problem by engaging in violent acts, even when justifiable as self-defense.

It's ironic that this belief on the part of feminists, of all people, reinforces the cultural (and self-) perception that, as you put it, "weakness [is] central to... womanhood."
Same deal. Women are weak... Gah.

I suppose the whole "self-esteem" craze that's done its bit to ruin education in this country feeds into that attitude, as well. Double gah.

Wish I had a solution, but......
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Old April 4, 2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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As in a conversation, I was having with Pax - part of the feminist objection to firearms by some is their own belief in the incompetence of women to use guns. Seems contradictory but it's there in statements.

I was at a conference where Oyster and Stange were presenting their book Gun Women. They are college profs. Anyway another women prof said exactly that guns were a male paradigm. She could teach women to defend themselves with piercing shrieks and pinches (not making this up).

Ann Richards - supposedly a role model for free TX women, said that no woman could find a gun in a purse through all the lipstick, etc.

Luckily there are feminist progun folks - but they won't be on Rachel Madow.

There is an interesting intersection - guns are male and a violent paradigm and in any case, women couldn't handle them anyway. Does the antipathy to guns make them believe the latter or does a subconscious acceptance of male superiority make them believe that in the SD domain, they are inferior. Obviously all women don't feel that way. Hard to parse out from casual observation.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:43 PM   #4
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The entire thing about what I call cherry-coating and keeping it too light and fun in training is the simple fact that real life situations are not pleasant and fun.
Positive reinforcement for positive performance , yes, but if they are there to learn firearms and SD, then they need to learn to put feelings and emotions aside and just react and do.

I may not have all of the sheer brute strength as a male, but I have no compunction when it comes to doing whatever it takes to defend myself or my family. I have been called cold, unfeeling, etc before. I call it a fact.

If I'm in training and my instructor calls me out for something that needs fixing, you are darn right it's going to be corrected and I'm not going to have hurt feelings over it.

Ann Richards may have a point in regards to the lipstick and such in my purse. That is just another reason to validate why I always carry on my body.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Glenn
Does the antipathy to guns make them believe the latter or does a subconscious acceptance of male superiority make them believe that in the SD domain, they are inferior.
I'd say "neither." It's not a matter of accepting male superiority, but of believing that men are violent by nature and women are not. The antipathy comes from a mix of fear and ignorance about guns (not unique to feminists). Add to those a tendency to believe that all men want guns as, um, a way of bolstering their masculinity, and you get a perfect storm of beliefs adding up to "NO ONE SHOULD HAVE THEM!" So for a woman to own guns -- for any purpose -- becomes a betrayal of her own kind... also unnatural.

I think another factor, for some feminists, is a distrust of power, even in their own hands. You're not supposed to want power -- that too is "male-identified." Defending yourself effectively means claiming power, and you shouldn't want to do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redhologram
The entire thing about what I call cherry-coating and keeping it too light and fun in training is the simple fact that real life situations are not pleasant and fun.
Good point, and for a woman who's learning to use a handgun for self-defense because she's been in one of those "not pleasant and fun" situations, wanting to keep it light may be a coping mechanism.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
You're not supposed to want power -- that too is "male-identified." Defending yourself effectively means claiming power, and you shouldn't want to do that.
No one sent me that memo!!! lol
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:52 PM   #7
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Me either.
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:58 PM   #8
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Me either.
True fact ^^
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Old April 4, 2013, 09:01 PM   #9
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Good point, and for a woman who's learning to use a handgun for self-defense because she's been in one of those "not pleasant and fun" situations, wanting to keep it light may be a coping mechanism.
Yes. This.

For some people, simply getting to the range is stressful enough. For them, we dial it back and go slowly until they are ready to move forward. Not every student needs to be pushed, and of those that do need to be pushed, not all respond in the same way or to the same triggers. It's a constant balancing act between moving them forward and keeping them motivated; the things that motivate one student to excel may prompt another to give up in frustration or disgust. So you have to take the individual's needs into account.

Unfortunately, some people use that personalization to treat every student (or, sigh, every female student) as if she is a fragile vase about to shatter. That's not only not accurate, it's not helpful. Even the ones who are about to shatter usually need compassionate firmness -- not coddling.

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Old April 5, 2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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My opening slide is the Logo of Chris Kyles Seal Team 3 shoulder patch.
The words on the patch are so true to anyone who carries a gun in self defense,
Quote:
"despite what your mamma told you, violence does solve problems." Ryan Job
Here is the History of the Logo;
And an old Quote i used years back;
Quote:
3. WATCH YOUR POTENTIAL OPPONENT'S HANDS, NOT HIS EYES. NOBODY WILL EVER "LOOK" YOU TO DEATH.
Many martial-arts instructors will tell you that an opponent's eyes will give away their intentions. That is not always the case. But you can bet that if they go for a knife or a gun, they will go for it with their hands.
From this list that used to be on Packing dot org:
Of course i usually followed that one up with they have never seen my wife's eyes when i came home after a night out....
But on the serious side, i have seen her engage someone who threatened one of her own and the She-Bear instinct rules her!
About the only thing i directly address to the Women is Pax's slide racking technique and i include those with hand deficits in that tech.
Oh, and the Disparity of force issues also.
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Old April 6, 2013, 08:50 PM   #11
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A Timely Subject

As it happens, I was recently asked to teach a class in another sport (sailing) for women. Then, less than a week later, I was asked to teach a defensive handgun class for women.

I said no to both.

Asking relatives of mine, long time, professional teachers, there is no reason to teach women separately, from a teaching perspective.

The final judge in both cases, a bad guy on the street and Mother Nature at sea, will not draw a distinction between male and female, and the criteria that will dictate survival in both cases is not dependent on sex.

I'm aware that avoiding conflict is different for women. When I walk down a dark street, if I stare straight into an oncoming man's eyes, if I stop walking and start to glare at him, the outcome is completely different than if a small, beautiful woman dressed in a hot black cocktail dress does exactly the same thing. Large and ugly does have its perks. So I don't try to teach women how to avoid conflict, for the simple reason that I have no idea how it's done by them.

But once a shot is fired or the fight begins, the responses, skills and actions are dead even. They are the same, and must be taught to the same standard, just as are the skills necessary to bring a sloop home safely.

I've been a minority for more than half a century. Equality is not a center in the WNBA being paid the same as a center in the NBA, equality is a female center in the NBA. With no one noticing. And therefore, finally, I believe that teaching women separately from men perpetuates a rather ugly stereotype: that women, somehow, need instruction to master handguns or sail that men do not. Individuals may require more or less instruction than other individuals, but I have a vested interest in the belief that groups of normal adults are equal to other groups of normal adults.

So I don't teach Men's Sailing, Women's Shooting or Women's Sailing. I teach sailing and shooting.

That all said, there are women (and, much to my surprise, men) who are more comfortable learning without being under the scrutiny of the opposite sex. For them, I teach private lessons, at a much higher cost. (That's tongue-in-cheek. I couldn't resist.)

What I've learned from my students (and I think that an instructor who doesn't learn from his/her students is a fool) over time is that it is possible to insist on standards quietly, without either making a point of it or hurting people. Not everyone learns from drill sergeants, and, in fact, if you're not producing infantry from teenagers in battalion size batches, drill sergeant style teaching is one of the worst ways to go about about teaching defensive handgun skills. Teaching women may not need to be different from teaching men, but teaching teenagers is different from either-- it's almost like teaching another species. But I digress.

So while it is not necessary to be friends, it is my opinion that it is also not necessary to offend without cause, and splitting that hair accurately and consistently is a matter of experience as an instructor-- the more I teach, the less it is necessary to offend. The object is to transfer knowledge and skills, nothing else. Offending almost never accomplishes that, unless you're teaching someone with a world view that is way out of level, and then you're back to turning teenagers into infantry.

My conclusions, then, are simple, and largely in agreement with what I understand Pax to be saying.
  1. The standards must not change, for anyone, unless I learn a bona-fide, genuine reason to improve both the standards and my teaching.
  2. I do not teach separate men or women's classes anymore than I would teach separate classes for black and white.
  3. I teach children and teenagers separately, their needs are different from adults, and the methods I use to teach them are different. But the standards are not different. For children, "maybe next year" is a viable, legitimate solution.

I'm pleased this came up. Particularly in sailing, where almost all instruction is for-profit, there is a large taboo in discussing divisions of classes, and what sells can have more momentum than ethics; I've never heard shooting instructors discuss ethics.

I am quite interested to hear what others have to say about it, whether they are instructors or students.
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Old April 7, 2013, 01:41 AM   #12
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Jammer,

I think the question of teaching men's & women's classes separately should probably be a separate thread. You and I are not in agreement on that side -- see here for a long article about that: http://www.corneredcat.com/article/t...omens-classes/

If you'd like to get a thread going on that, I'm game, though it may be a few days between posts from me since my traveling schedule has picked up to the point of insanity.

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Old April 7, 2013, 04:28 AM   #13
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The idea that you look into some one's eyes? To see the trigger? You know when they are going to? What? Such tripe. I spent 5 years as a Doorman (Bouncer) in Liverpool UK.

It was all about body language, stance, experience, been there, done that.

But one thing that stands out (back to looking at eyes!) the doorway at the Cavern Club, of Beatles fame (I worked on the door, part time job, Thur/Fri/Sat)
1960 till 1964. The next year, at the Blue Angel. Seal Street.

Small groups of guys (Chaps!) 3-4-out for night out, fun, fights? Whole different culture, they would arrive at the door, we are in the way!

"What's the score on gerrin in La?" Translation, how do we enter the Club!
Many different ways of telling them they were not! Most confrontational.

The ringleader, there is always one, would be in the front (Very narrow entrance) you would have already checked for hands in pockets, behind backs, so the one in front of you, the MOUTH! Has been told, they were not getting in, nearly always his foot would be the first tell, one foot would move a wee bit back, he is going to kick, or punch!

A shoulder dip would telegraph that move, but prior to! His eyes would cut left or right, to see if his Buddy was ready!

That's when you broke his nose, and kicked his knee out! You would be talking with your hands (like a Frog, Frenchman) hands up around neck level.

Your assailant to be, never saw this, he wasn't looking!

In those type of incidents, the eyes were paramount as flags, tells.

Fast forward to Florida, Glock 19 on a good belt (frequent flier, Instructor 1.5")
Sweater, coat, cool weather, Florida shirt normally.

Going about the living, being out and about, day, night, driving, parking, with my Wife, most always.

The body language part, still alive and well, but the HANDS! carry weapons.
See weapon, draw, move, fire! Of course it is never that simple, but the basics are the same. If you do not see that you have been targeted? You had better stay home.

Does not matter if you are teaching men, or woman. Predators pray on either.

A lot of Police after action statements from victims, start, "They came out of nowhere!" Because they were not aware. The old saying, "Being paranoid, does not mean there is not some one out to get you" is sometimes true.

Teaching gun play, not that difficult, without the awareness of your daily travel in life, the gun is not that useful.
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Old April 7, 2013, 05:25 AM   #14
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There are times to have fun and times to be deadly serious. I call it the training tempo. depends on the subject and also depends on those that are sitting in front of you.

In the back of mine or any instructors mind MUST be the realization that if the guns come out in the real world then the death of one or the other is a real probability.

and not in a hollywood rambo macho BS kinda way with no repercussions, lets go have a beer after this fight is over way - in the real way - back of the police car , children losing a parent, funerals and hearses, lawsuits and lives wrecked way.

I have had quite a few of my students over the years come up and tell me about their gunfights and how they used what was taught by me or one of my crew to come out on top. I have been told how they killed someone using what i taught them . so I think - cool

then I think hmmmmmm I'm directly responsible for someones death or on the flip side for someones life. I have been in the back of a police cruiser when I came out on top but still despite the bravado it really really really sucked bad when I heard over the radio the kid died (he didnt actually but thats another story).

but despite the seriousness i still make a point to have training as enjoyable as possible when i can, because it helps in retention and insures students pursue their shooting more often.

as to teaching women - i have said it before - give me a woman with nothing to prove over a macho guy who know it all any day.

I think most instructors would agree.

IF anything when we do mixed classes the problems are not the ladies fault. Its the guys trying to make an impression that are the problem.

Or.... its an instructor who is treating a lady differently (pet peeve #528) I HATE it when they give extra attention or "assume" for some unknown reason that the "girls" need more help. I know that most girls hate it too - 90% of the time you can tell they just dont want to be singled out.

I also hate the little ole me, shrinking violets , blink blink, prim girls that encourage that behavior. its a distraction

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Old April 7, 2013, 07:37 AM   #15
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My days in the Marines taught me a lot about women. I dont want to sound racist or sexist but my observation is that diverse women seem to be much tougher then less diverse women. Foreign women are much tougher then Western variants. Women from the third world are especially tough. Try going up against a woman from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Kenya or South America...just to name a few.

The reality is American society is too soft on women. I dont want a blonde woman from California in my unit but I wouldnt mind a hard charger from Israel, Russia or Libya.

Thats just my opinion based on actual experiences.
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Old April 7, 2013, 08:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Or.... its an instructor who is treating a lady differently (pet peeve #528) I HATE it when they give extra attention or "assume" for some unknown reason that the "girls" need more help. I know that most girls hate it too - 90% of the time you can tell they just dont want to be singled out.
SFMEDIC

I had to fire an Instructor for just that! The Lady's hated it.
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Old April 7, 2013, 10:21 AM   #17
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I paid my way through college by teaching SAT/ACT prep, and tutoring algebra and calculus.

The first thing I learned was that each student was missing a different foundational keystone, and the trick was to identify the individual keystone and proceed from there.

The structure can only be as strong as the foundation.

When teaching basic self-defense, I like to start at the most basic level, and proceed from there. With some students, the pace can accelerate faster. This is normally due to the student having had prior exposure to the concepts being taught.

The only "bias" I have in training females is to put a little more emphasis on dealing with being grabbed from behind, and a little more emphasis on techniques for dealing with a larger adversary - since I feel those are more likely threat scenarios for females in general.

Ironically, this means I prefer to pair females up against large males, as soon as the females are mentally willing to try it.
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Old April 8, 2013, 01:35 AM   #18
pax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfmedic
but despite the seriousness i still make a point to have training as enjoyable as possible when i can, because it helps in retention and insures students pursue their shooting more often.
Agreed! I call it "serious fun," because that's what it is. It's fun with a purpose.

Two dangers, one on each side of the narrow pathway. Danger one is wandering off into happy happy fun land, losing sight of your real purpose. That's not helpful because (if you are to meet the heavy responsibility you have to your students), you have to bring them into a place where they are prepared to do Whatever It Takes to save their own lives. They won't reach that place without going through a dark valley or two along the way.

The other danger is to make the learning environment so grim and dreadful and negative that your students choose never to take another step along that pathway. Rather than wandering around in happy happy fun land, or walking with purpose along the path to an armed, aware lifestyle, they throw down the gun in disgust and never pick it up again.

So there's a balance point you have to reach, providing fun as an incentive and encouragement, a way to lighten the dark places and keep them moving the direction they need to go -- without letting fun become the entire purpose of what you're doing with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfmedic
as to teaching women - i have said it before - give me a woman with nothing to prove over a macho guy who know it all any day.

I think most instructors would agree.
Most, but not all. I disagree with several things in that brief sentence. In that one sentence, I heard you imply:

1) that women in general make better students than men; and
2) that some large percentage of men do not make good students.

From my perspective, neither of those implied statements are true. I will agree that men and women learn differently, but I will also say that in a defensive handgun class -- where it is not just about marksmanship but about the entire package including mindset, tactics, and gunhandling skills -- women as a whole tend to surge ahead in some areas and lag behind in others. But those who look only at the targets, and not at the complete package, rarely or never see that.

As a related thing, I've found that men and women tend to behave quite differently when they've decided an instructor is full of it. Men tend to challenge or dismiss; it's quite obvious, almost impossible to miss. But our culture does not encourage women to use these tactics. Instead, women tend to get quieter, making a private decision never to come back. You won't necessarily know she's decided you're an idiot, unless you know how to read the signs and are looking for them. As a result, a lot of instructors think women never shut them out, when in fact women do so all the time. They just aren't reading it for what it is.

Finally -- and this is my bottom line on this one -- I do not think it is helpful to tell women they are "naturally" good at shooting. Here's a quote that might explain why. It comes from http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/11/the_...ight_kids.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi Grant Halvorson in "The Trouble with Bright Kids"

When I was a graduate student at Columbia, my mentor Carol Dweck and another student, Claudia Mueller, conducted a study looking at the effects of different kinds of praise on fifth-graders. Every student got a relatively easy first set of problems to solve and were praised for their performance. Half of them were given praise that emphasized their high ability ("You did really well. You must be really smart!"). The other half were praised instead for their strong effort ("You did really well. You must have worked really hard!").

Next, each student was given a very difficult set of problems — so difficult, in fact, that few students got even one answer correct. All were told that this time they had "done a lot worse." Finally, each student was given a third set of easy problems — as easy as the first set had been — in order to see how having a failure experience would affect their performance.

Dweck and Mueller found that children who were praised for their "smartness" did roughly 25% worse on the final set of problems compared to the first. They were more likely to blame their poor performance on the difficult problems to a lack of ability, and consequently they enjoyed working on the problems less and gave up on them sooner.

Children praised for the effort, on the other hand, performed roughly 25% better on the final set of problems compared to the first. They blamed their difficulty on not having tried hard enough, persisted longer on the final set of problems, and enjoyed the experience more.

It's important to remember that in Dweck and Mueller's study, there were no mean differences in ability between the kids in the "smart" praise and "effort" praise groups, nor in past history of success — everyone did well on the first set, and everyone had difficulty on the second set. The only difference was how the two groups interpreted difficulty — what it meant to them when the problems were hard to solve. "Smart" praise kids were much quicker to doubt their ability, to lose confidence, and to become less effective performers as a result.

The kind of feedback we get from parents and teachers as young children has a major impact on the implicit beliefs we develop about our abilities — including whether we see them as innate and unchangeable, or as capable of developing through effort and practice. When we do well in school and are told that we are "so smart," "so clever," or "such a good student," this kind of praise implies that traits like smartness, cleverness, and goodness are qualities you either have or you don't. The net result: when learning something new is truly difficult, smart-praise kids take it as sign that they aren't "good" and "smart," rather than as a sign to pay attention and try harder.

Incidentally, this is particularly true for women. As young girls, they learn to self-regulate (i.e., sit still and pay attention) more quickly than boys. Consequently they are more likely to be praised for "being good," and more likely to infer that "goodness" and "smartness" are innate qualities. In a study Dweck conducted in the 1980's, for instance, she found that bright girls, when given something to learn that was particularly foreign or complex, were quick to give up compared to bright boys — and the higher the girls' IQ, the more likely they were to throw in the towel. In fact, the straight-A girls showed the most helpless responses.

We continue to carry these beliefs, often unconsciously, around with us throughout our lives. And because bright kids are particularly likely to see their abilities as innate and unchangeable, they grow up to be adults who are far too hard on themselves — adults who will prematurely conclude that they don't have what it takes to succeed in a particular arena, and give up way too soon.
One of the many source studies for the above is here (in pdf format -- and highly recommended reading, too.)

So for me, part of my work in helping women learn to protect themselves involves helping them develop the desire to keep practicing, keep learning, and keep improving. This means I try to never give them the impression that they're just "naturally good" in this field. Instead, I try to praise them for the effort they put into it, the way they have worked to improve, the things they're actually doing that are right. By praising those things, I hope to offset the tendency to hit a rough patch and quit, because it's so easy to invest your ego in "being good" rather than in "working hard."

pax,

Kathy
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Old April 8, 2013, 08:53 AM   #19
JerryM
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Instructors who teach CCW are not, at least in NM, teaching self defense. They are teaching what the state requires in order to issue a CHL.

Safety, the rudiments of gun handling, marksmanship, and the primary state and federal law are all they have time to teach. In the classes my friend used to teach he did mention the 21 foot rule. He also taught a little as to how to use cover in the home or outside. However, there is not enough time to teach any more than those few things in the required 15 hours. In addition, a fair percentage of students are not physically capable of very much because of age or infirmities.

If one wants SD training he must go to those special classes. Very few do, including me, but such is not necessary to carry concealed.

Jerry
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Old April 8, 2013, 09:55 AM   #20
kraigwy
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Quote:
Instructors who teach CCW are not, at least in NM, teaching self defense. They are teaching what the state requires in order to issue a CHL.

Safety, the rudiments of gun handling, marksmanship, and the primary state and federal law are all they have time to teach. In the classes my friend used to teach he did mention the 21 foot rule. He also taught a little as to how to use cover in the home or outside. However, there is not enough time to teach any more than those few things in the required 15 hours. In addition, a fair percentage of students are not physically capable of very much because of age or infirmities.

If one wants SD training he must go to those special classes. Very few do, including me, but such is not necessary to carry concealed.

Jerry
I agree with that, that's why I don't teach "Shooting" classes, I teach "self defense" classes. Or state has no mandate. I don't teach under my NRA Instructor mandate.

Sure I teach both, I teach shooting and self defense, just not at the same time. (Though firearm safety is covered in both).

As said, my ladies classes are pretty much unconventional. Things that cover what a lady might run across. Car Jacking, engaging bandits while pulling a child behind them from cover. Gathering kids and ducking behind the bed, getting 911 on the phone (and leaving the phone on) while covering the bedroom door, purse snatching (though I tell them if possible let them have the purse) .............a few examples but you get the idea.

If a shooting class is desired, I teach NRA HP & Bullseye Clinics, CMP-GSM, etc.

I just figure engaging a target at 50 yards drifts form the self defense scenario.
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Old April 8, 2013, 11:14 AM   #21
pax
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Jerry,

In my opinion, it's unethical for an instructor to offer CCW classes without being very clear with his students as to what they are learning and -- more important! -- what they are not learning in the class. That's how you meed the obligation your students put on your shoulders when they enroll in your class.

Sure, most CCW permit students are so ignorant when they first come into the class that they don't realize they need to learn more than the permission-slip class will give them if they want to be well-prepared to protect their lives. But getting that idea over to them is part of the instructor's ethical obligation to these beginning students. (And, of course, a certain number of students will choose to remain determinedly ignorant, but that's not the instructor's fault. You can only educate the educable...)

If you've taken a CCW permit class and your instructor did not explain the limitations of the class to you, that instructor failed you most profoundly -- and failed to meet the ethical obligations of a defensive firearms instructor.

pax
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Old April 8, 2013, 01:53 PM   #22
sfmedic
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Pax - it was not my intent to imply either of the points you surmised :-)

My fault - let me put that thought in the context that i failed to heretofore .

I have never had a problem teaching women the basics and getting them utilizing proper fundamentals.

I have never had a woman show up with an "attitude" that they were Gods gift to the tactical community. (Again I teach organizations and sometimes my students don't even want to be there)

I (personal opinion based on experience) find women more receptive and easier to teach.

And no - only a minuscule few make bad students male or female. I can probably count on one hand ones that I wouldn't want to teach again.



As to your "fun" observation - im with you 100%. I keep it fun as much as possible - When they start getting into moving in depth, tactical entries, team movements im not saying they should be nonchalant - BUT they need to have a level of relaxation that is not going to be helped by piling on them USMC Paris Island style. :-)

and yes its a balancing act and a half



And to your final point about women tending to get quieter -

I was married once - I am well acquainted with the "silence" technique

my wife was world class at that one - even the dog would beat me to the garage when she deployed that technique. :-)
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Old April 8, 2013, 02:57 PM   #23
pax
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sfmedic ~

My apologies for leaping to conclusions. Shouldn't have, should have asked for clarification. Thanks for clearing it up.

Quote:
And to your final point about women tending to get quieter -

I was married once - I am well acquainted with the "silence" technique

my wife was world class at that one - even the dog would beat me to the garage when she deployed that technique. :-)


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Old April 8, 2013, 04:10 PM   #24
JerryM
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Hi Pax,
I have to disagree with you on this. When people take the class they know that they are getting instruction in order to obtain a concealed carry permit. They are told, and have a brochure stating what the state requires, and how much time will be spent on each element.

My friend offers more advanced classes, but the people who enroll in his class are only concerned with being able to legally carry a concealed handgun. Of all his students not one wanted to take a more advanced class. A fair percentage of students are over 50 and most are not interested in anything but to be legal when, and if, they carry.

Some on forums like this one have guns as close to the center of their lives. But they are exceptions and very few people are interested in being able to defend against multiple BGs in various situations.

I do not know even one person who has, except in the line of duty, had to use a firearm in SD. I am closely acquainted with LEOs and retired law enforcement officers and less than 1% carry off duty or after retirement. These are Border Patrol, FBI, Federal Marshals, and local officers.

They make a point of stating that they got tired of carrying a gun on duty, and do not want one off duty. Not one has been attacked. Of course the probability of an attack always exists, but many of us are not willing to make SD a very high priority in life due to the extremely small probability of being attacked. Guns are the hobby and passion of gun forum members, but not the bulk of gun owners.
I do carry 98% of the time where legal. If for whatever reason I do not carry I am not really concerned about it.

Regards,
Jerry
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Old April 8, 2013, 04:51 PM   #25
pax
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Jerry,

Yep. I'm aware that a lot of instructors see their CCW students as nothing more than a way to make money on government-required fees, and do not bother explaining to students why they should learn more than the state requires. I don't think much of instructors who work that way.

Although many people carry their firearms like they carry a lucky rabbit's foot, that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about an ethical instructor's duty to his or her students. How to talk the determinedly ignorant out of their complacency isn't the subject of the thread.

Thanks.

pax
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