A New Approach to Learning
The Learning Process in Practice

A New Approach to the Way We Learn

Over the years we have continually changed our approach to the way we have been teaching this work. Working with the 'Tide' seems to have the effect of changing perception and understanding, and it has certainly had that effect on the teaching team and the way they teach. So what we have discovered for ourselves is that the training courses need to reflect the possibility of new discovery and transformation. We need to be responsive to the way students learn and to encorporate that into the learning process.

We realised that we needed to allow more space and time for things to be absorbed and that the learning process is one of embodiment not knowledge. So the course which was originally one year is now a two year course.

It has even changed the way we have organised the learning process. We have stopped teaching and testing, and have moved to a system of self-assessment. See self assessment.

In 1995 we changed the curriculum and the way it is organised to more fully reflect the 'organising principles of the Tide'. This in turn led us to understand that the realtionship between the Tide and the body is one that is developed over time. This is a relationship that is continuous through the initial period of development of the body and remains throughout life.

So the way we have structured the course content now fully reflects how things grow and develop over time. That from simple foundations you can build more sofisticated and complex understandings. Gradually we had transformed the course to be more in tune with these principles, and how we can 'embody' the nature of the Tide and it's transformational qualities. The sequence of the course is now ordered to track the the way the body develops and becomes an integrated whole.

We also observed that students gained a deeper and more authentic understanding of the work through open explorations and then reviewing these experiences together with the tutors and fellow students. This means that the students' knowledge of the work, which forms the foundations of their future practice, is based on their own unique experiences.

This has been reinforced by developing experiential sessions that enable the students to experience the energetics and healing processes within themselves. The key to this process is that the practitioner becomes an embodiment of the work and can become a resonant mirror for healing processes in others.

This is in contrast to a more traditional teaching style, where you are told how something works and then you try to capture that understanding. This approach is fine for learning theoretical things, but it doesn't help to model the spontaneous responsiveness required in practical circumstances. It can even inhibit the way the patient responds to your palpatory enquiry. The problem is that cranial work is a dynamic process full of subtle nuances that occur within the body. Techniques miss the very nature of the work. What is required when you are learning, is to begin with what you do feel, and then to have that confirmed and given a context afterwards. The trouble with trying to emulate someone else's experience is that you end up with what you think you should be feeling rather than what is actually happening. Its not authentic and can even become a subtle form of disempowerment.

The Learning Process

The practitioner's inner clarity is ultimately a mirror that reflects the 'Breath of Life' and what it can provide. To fully develop their own Cranial skills the trainee practitioner needs to develop a sincere relationship to their own inner world of learning. Within the training programme this process builds as a step by step process, gradually aquiring a whole range of cranial skills through practical sessions designed to enhance palpatory awareness.

This process begins by learning to focus attention in specific ways:

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