If the student does not surpass their mentor then the student is either lazy or the mentor has failed his student.
I’ve worked in two factories during my 38 + career and in each of them those who instructed me used the sink and swim method.
That is they spent a short period of time showing me how to do the job then turned me loose – to succeed or fail on my own.
I always had to figure out what questions to ask when I ran into trouble or had an issue I couldn’t solve on my own.
Needless to say just as Captain Kirk (star trek original series) does not believe in the “No Win Scenario” I do not believe in the “Sink and Swim” method of teaching.
It is the most ineffective method of instructing another individual that I know of.
Until March of 2017 I spent the past 15 yrs drawing out patterns, shearing and trimming them with metal snips and forming them by hand – parts that were designed to fit on the outside trim of commercial metal buildings.
Such as: Peak Boxes, gutter ends, corner boxes and straps of many different kinds.
Whenever I was required to train someone to help me I always taught them the way I’d want to be trained.
Most of the time they were within my son’s age group (some a little older or younger) whom I’d train the way I’d have taught my own son; or would want someone else to train my son.
Many times I would work twice as hard and ran circles around the individual I was training in order to get the job done; in order to allow them to practice cutting the metal with shears.
A task that is not easy to learn.
Teaching those who worked with me all of the little tricks I was taught and/or learned on my own.
Knowing that once I was able to get them up to my level of performance; they would make my job so much easier.
Making my investment worth the time and effort to mentor those I was training; which also had the advantage of allowing me to pass on my values gained through my own personal experience.
That they could use as tools on the next job they ended up doing that they could then pass along to others as well.
Several times those whom I trained and mentored down through the years told me that I was a good teacher.