Author Topic: The best way of teaching knots?  (Read 6639 times)

Phil_The_Rope

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The best way of teaching knots?
« on: March 18, 2008, 07:38:10 PM »
Yes, I admit, I have an axe to grind because I am trying to prepare a workshop/course on tying a simple bell rope, but ...

Some knot-tying books are easier to follow than others, the best books in my experience being Stuart Granger's publications, which are pretty damned good!

However, time and again I tear my hair out trying to follow printed instructions (even with clever diagrams). A classic example is John Shaw's "Spanish Ring Knot" in KM 97 ("John Shaw" being a pseudonym for "Geoffrey Budworth"?) - I am so desperate to learn this knot, but I'm damned if I can follow the instructions. That's not to say the instructions are no good, they simply do not work for me 'cos I'm thick! The same can be said for "instructions" for fancy knots (my particular area of interest) on the internet - I struggle with printed instructions.

I maintain that VIDEO is the way to go.

For my "Get Knotted - Create a Bell Rope" course I have produced a DVD handout for students - even though the DVD may not enable non-attendees to tie the bell rope (although it might), at least it will serve as a reminder to paying students of what we covered on the course.

Yet again, I recall the classic example of Charlie's Turk's Heads tied around one's fingers - Charlie was a fabulous teacher, if only we'd captured it on film?

It is SO frustrating trying to learn something new from printed instructions - filming those intructions might make life easier!

Regards,

Phil The Rope
www.gr8-knots.com








KnotMe

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Re: The best way of teaching knots?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2008, 07:52:28 PM »
Personally, I don't think that there is any one perfect way to teach knots.  From person to person, indeed, from knot to knot what might be "best" changes.  Video (also in-person physical demos) often go by too fast (admittedly you can rewind and pause video, but friendly demonstrators can do the same with 3D changes in view 8-), but if you've been studying a layout diagram for a while, the video/visual demonstration might give you the aha! you need to understand whatever was confusing you (or the other way around).

having the finished knot in front of you to manipulate and dismantle if need be is very instructive, although labour intensive for an instructor.

IMHO, the way to go is a multi-pronged "attack".  give them as much information in as many different ways as possible (and practical).

oceanplats

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Re: The best way of teaching knots?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 01:20:38 PM »
go to this site mate -frayedknotarts.com
ps - thank me later

Phil_The_Rope

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Re: The best way of teaching knots?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2008, 01:47:00 PM »
Carol and Vince - you both turn out some wonderful stuff!

I agree, there is no perfect way to teach knots, but I maintain that GOOD video is the next best thing to having a one-to-one tutor. Of course, the video is not necessarily easy to put together (as I found out when I enlisted the help of the nice folks on the forum when I created my series of videos for the bell rope on my web site).

Indeed, I have learned many knots from books. In fact, I've just patted myself on the back because I can now manage a simple Spanish Ring Knot from the diagrams and instructions in Bruce Grant's book. I thank "John Shaw" for giving me the inspiration to do it. I have yet to find a book which consistently teaches me what I want to know - often, I'll find one book totally loses me with one knot, but it will be perfect for another knot.

The reason I was so determined to create a DVD for the course I'm running is because it will serve as an aide-memoire to the hands-on teaching, and maybe prevent students giving up if they forget the classroom instructions. I was encouraged by the fact that some folks actually managed to tie the bell rope on my site by following the streaming video there, but the DVD is of much better quality because there is no restriction on file sizes. Naturally, on the course I will be providing students with lists of books, suppliers and so on. I also intend to give a hand-out with web sites of Guild members.

I hope students enjoy learning to tie a bell rope, but I intend to whet their appetites for all sorts of decorative knot tying. If anyone has samples of their work they're willing to let me have that would be brilliant, especially if there's a card with name, web site, contact details etc.

Always glad to receive comments from you folks!

Regards,

Phil
http://www.gr8-knots.com