Meet Krista! A Kane School alum and Columbia University MTLG candidate, Krista will be presenting a FREE lecture to the kinected community based on her new framework for teachers she has been developing at Columbia. Read on for more details on her lecture, her bio & a brief Q&A!
As teachers we often find ourselves faced with a wide range of skill levels in large group class settings. However, the large group approach to teaching movement is not supported by educational research, which concludes that low and high skilled students learn in significantly different ways. Students’ needs vary regarding practice conditions, verbal cueing, demonstration, and augmented feedback. Krista Loveless’ masters thesis at Columbia examines this dilemma and addresses these questions:
- How does a teacher make choices about practice and feedback after identifying the various skill levels?
- After a decision is made, does it have a more or less profound effect on low or high skilled students?
- Is there a translational model through which we can easily make decisions about practice and feedback when teaching large open-level classes?
With a limited amount of research that is directly generalizable to teaching performance oriented movement techniques (such as strength training, yoga, and Pilates) she will draw upon research synthesized from motor learning, motor control, sports sciences, exercise science, psychology, perception and behavior, neuroscience, and physical education in order to present the following:
- A detailed organization of motor learning and physical education theories and research,
- A synthesis of how teaching open level classes may impact students
- Her findings on new Translational Models teachers can use to make effective choices to help their students have successful appropriate practice.
Q: Why did you decide to go back to graduate school?
A: I’ve been teaching movement since I was 14, graduated from the Kane School in 2007 (although I finished all of the course work and received my first job teaching Pilates in 2005). I’ve always loved what I do and knew it was my lifelong career. However, a few things have always perplexed me while working with students; why some cues work and some don’t, why some students feel progress and some feel defeated, and whether or not I could be making different choices to help more students find success in their practice. I stumbled upon the Columbia’s Biobehavioral Sciences website and was instantly drawn to their program’s description, “… a program that derives educational and clinical applications from an understanding of the biological processes underlying human communication, movement, and their disorders… and uses this information to enhance the educational, adaptive, and communicative capabilities of individuals with normal and impaired abilities across the lifespan.” I get chills every time I read that. We have a big job as teachers, navigating through a jungle of various complex systems all the while attempting to make these systems simple and accessible to all of our students. I knew I wanted to learn more about this ‘big job’ we have and how to do it more effectively… so I got a loan and signed myself up!
Q: Why did you select this topic to study?
A: I wanted to investigate a topic that could be directly applicable to my daily life as a teacher. Although my thesis actually holds within it over a dozen different research topics, the synthesis of the work is intended to make our ‘big job’ a bit more digestible. Most of the studies in motor learning involve a laboratory setting and few of them discuss the role the teacher plays in creating the skill-learning scenarios. However, in the real world it all comes back to the teacher and what choices they make with that precious hour. Not to go into quoting studies already (I guess you can take the girl out of academics but not the academics out of the girl) but I love what the physical educator John Carroll (1989) said; “I have cautioned that time as such is not what counts, but what happens during that time” (p.27).
Krista Loveless is a movement teacher and teaching consultant. After receiving her Bachelors in Dance Education from Marymount Manhattan College and Pilates certification from the Kane School of Core Integration in New York City, she pursued a full-time teaching career. She developed a passion for helping teachers improve their effectiveness during her employment as a supervisor for the Kane School’s certification program. She has continued her education with certificates in pre-natal Pilates, gait analysis, functional anatomy for movement instructors (FAMI), and is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher (RYT) certified by Portland’s Yoga Bhoga. After nearly 10 years of teaching, Krista went back to pursue her Master’s in Motor Learning and Control at Columbia University’s Teachers College. With an expertise in the application of motor learning and control theories to the pedagogy of performance oriented movement practices. Her goal is to help teachers make a greater impact on the lives of their students and to help students love movement.