Below are excerpts from an excellent article about Shaping by Christina Bond, May 2012
that I just discovered through one of the equine clicker training sites. I thought I would paraphrase and post a few of her comments below as I think this is so well said!
"Setting up learning to elicit contemplation and avoid frustration requires a mature, creative and thoughtful teacher. One who has the skills to understand the learner (the species and individual), identify the skills to be taught, plan how to elicit specific behavior through setup of the environment, and ability to adjust the plan as the learning unfolds.
... Constant observation, immediate analysis and decision making, adjustment of criteria, understanding of the learner, creativity… these are all skills the trainer needs to practice and hone. Skills that require a degree of connection and empathy with the learner. Skills that provide enough challenge to continuously stretch the trainer’s skills, and a pleasant and confidence building experience for the learner.
The result of this effort is priceless:
A self-controlled and confident learner, one that is has an active seeking system, an internal drive for learning.
A creative and innovative trainer, who has risen to the challenge of improving the learning process through a deeper understanding of the nuances of behavior.
In short, shaping excellence in the trainer brings excellence to the learning process."
The whole article is here: http://www.learningaboutdogs.com/html/frustration.html