Teaching Philosophy (Outline)
© 2013 EEASI Corporation


Just as important as what is being taught is how it is taught. The EASI method is contact-based (a result) rather than finish-based (an activity). This is based on the latest research into the human learning process by Professor Ellen Langer at Harvard. The point of Langer's research is that the human learns fastest when a subject or idea is taught based on relevance and purpose. For example, Langer points out that teaching the events that make up history by dates requires rote memorization that is easily forgotten shortly after the relevant test or after the course is finished. On the other hand, teaching the relevance of an event and its impact on all that followed and how it affected the world we presently live in will more likely assure that the event will be remembered for its significance. Professor Langer further notes that encouraging a student to explore and experiment with their own ideas will enhance learning. And further still, encouraging creative thought and freedom will also accelerate learning.

On the other hand, teaching by rote repetition, or teaching based on activities rather than results, stifles the imagination, creativity and individual initiative of the student, producing a student that cannot easily adapt to new and novel circumstances. Match play requires the student to constantly adapt to the changing circumstances of the flight of the ball and the course of the match. Hence a player, or any student of any subject, taught by rote repetition will in general perform below the level of their capability and will not compete well against a highly adaptable student with lesser skills. To this end, EASI methods encourages creativity, Experimentation and Exploration of all ideas, Adaptability, Autonomy, Self determination. Self Advocacy, Imagination, and Individual Initiative.

In order to carry out this program of instruction:

  • Each drill is presented as a series of experiments for which there is no wrong or right result. Each experiment simply provides the student with data to be processed by the brain during gestation time or sleep
  • The student is encouraged to avoid value judgements about their performance or the data experiments; and they are especially encouraged to avoid having a preconceived idea of what they should be able to perform or that they should be able to perform a certain drill perfectly
  • All drills maximize the student's opportunity to experiment, explore and use their individual initiative and creativity to discover efficient methods to execute strokes or make decisions
  • There is no form of conventional template based training.
  • All drills are designed around conceptually clear purposes and results rather than activities; each drill has an answer to the question "Why?" that is based on the objectives of tournament play
  • Learning is primarily implicit with minimal elaboration or direction from the instructor; hence, micro management of the student is eliminated
  • The student's mind is constantly challenged to answer questions related to the drills and exercises with the understanding that an answer is neither right nor wrong, but rather that their answer is the start of a dialog

The first phase of instruction with a new student is the discovery phase. During this stage the instructor just feeds balls to discover a student's central tendencies and reflexes and to see what they can do based on their own experience or genetic predisposition. This may take as much as a half an hour due to factors of nervousness and the student's preconceptions about what is expected of them. Preconceptions and reflexes may obscure a student's real abilities so they must be addressed early.

After the initial discovery phase is complete (discovery will go on throughout the student's learning process) the development phase begins. Once we have an initial idea of what the student can and cannot do, we can begin to introduce the key ideas of the various grips and what they can do and move on to contact, extension, elbow position, and movement.