Welcome to the World Bridge Federation Teaching Program
If Minibridge seems to be an efficient and realistic teaching method for a rapid and uniform teaching of bridge, it is nonetheless true that it cannot be considered as a sort of miracle recipe to produce bridge players in record time. It is also completely true that it can apply to the public in general, even the most intellectual, it needs to take account of the motivation of those it addresses and above all of the socio-cultural environment in which they are growing up.
It because of this that we have developed these teaching files whose target audience is those who teach bridge to a very specific "population"; pupils in the first stage of secondary education, i.e. children in Year 7 and 8, and even Year 9.
These files could appear very directive, especially to practising teachers. They are not really the principal targets of this work, since to a certain extent for them to be in front of a school age public is very normal and quite banal. We have thought especially while writing it of the numerous club organisers who are only marginally or not at all used to teaching bridge through the medium of minibridge and who will inevitably be led into teaching it in a school-based way. For them to find themselves in front of a group of 12 and 13 year olds all excited by the idea of indulging in an activity away from school routine risks being an off-putting experience which they may not get over. We wanted therefore to avoid them being "out of their depth" in front of their young pupils or, for lack of pedagogic arguments falling into the trap of improvising!
It is indeed evident that if the children see minibridge as a game - and the major preoccupation of the teacher is to try hard to make this the constant theme of all the sessions - one must nevertheless not forget that they are there to acquire notions, rules and the mechanisms of bridge. In other words, to learn without ever ceasing to have fun. This is far from easy and demands a considerable commitment on the part of the teacher who must avoid the bridge session being:
One of the major preoccupations which guided the development of these dossiers was to call frequently (even constantly) on the participation of the pupils. This is a step which is at the heart of modern teaching theory which gives the pupil the impression, thanks to the answers which he finds from his own deductions, of discovering that which the teacher wants him to learn.
These teaching dossiers lean in part on the initiation cards created by the Bridge University and in part on the "The Master Book" of minibridge. It was necessary in fact to adapt this excellent guide to the rhythm and intellectual mechanisms, and the psychology of this particular public. The 10 - 13/14 years age range is not the one most frequently encountered in bridge circles!
Those who do us the honour of reading this and who are not used to teaching in a school environment must follow this strict imperative: they must only speak and write the absolute minimum (the files will not fail to indicate this absolute minimum); on the contrary they must allow the pupils to express themselves by provoking their curiosity and by maintaining constantly their desire to find out more. To coin a phrase, they should try and hold back the horses rather than pull them along!
It is the effectiveness of this approach which will facilitate the assimilation of minibridge and will guarantee the success of the operation.