Coyote Teaching?!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 08, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Coyote teaching is not giving direct answers. rather to trigger people to get self active and find their answers in a Quest. Maybe a nice approach for paleohacks??

Tom Brown, Jr. on Coyote Teaching-

Grandfather never answered any of our questions the way most people would answer a question. He would either point us in the direction of the answer, or ask us a series of questions, all designed to make us think.

A "coyote teacher" makes every learning experience exciting, something we desperately want to know. He planned each lesson like a chess game or jigsaw puzzle, where one teaching led to another.

But he never forced any teaching on us; instead, he maneuvered the situation so we had to know, had to go on. "How do we build a shelter?" we would ask. He would answer "Ask the squirrels." We would ask "How does a bow-drill fire work?" and he would answer "Rub your hands together." Or we would ask "How can we track foxes better?" and he would reply "Track mice." He made each teaching special, exciting, and something we desperately needed to know. And as always, the lessons would go far deeper than just the superficial, reaching to all realms of our lives." Field Guide to Nature and Survival for ChildrenBlockquote




on December 08, 2011
at 06:18 PM

wax on, wax off



on December 08, 2011
at 04:38 PM

So that's why Dr. Kruse drives everyone crazy!

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3 Answers



on December 08, 2011
at 12:26 PM

My wonderful Dad was like that, I would ask him how to spell a word and he would say "have an adventure, search for it in the dictionary" and then take the The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary off the shelf which was so huge it had nine full pages on a single page! The included magnifying-glass was frequently used to burn small frustrated char marks into the windowsill.

Loved my father, but boy is my never satisfied perfectionism and craving for affirmation due to that man.

"Daaaad can't you just tell me how to spell hipotomos!!"



on December 08, 2011
at 01:41 PM

I always answer my students questions with questions that enable them to answer it themselves. If one still struggles, they'll get related piece of information that fill in the gaps, but I still allow them to reach the final conclusion/answer on their own.

While this is suitable for classroom environments, PaleoHacks is more of a Wiki than a classroom. Definitive answers are probably best, though I do find that for questions of paleo "dogma" I answer in questions more than statements, just to encourage folks to look at this all critically.



on December 08, 2011
at 11:27 AM

I think that's a nice way to teach kids to be inquisitive, however, keep in mind that the people who seek out to fix their health come here from a Western point of view. Do you really think they'll have the patience to sit through so many zen-like answers?

Or are they seeking simple straight forward answers about what to eat, how to eat it, and when to eat it and why?

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