You wouldn’t expect a class to just “get” a short form game without explaining the rules, just as you wouldn’t expect someone starting UCB to “get” game without having it broken down. That doesn’t mean some people won’t get it right from the start—whoop dee doo, they’re your Level 1 class star. Big deal. But there’s plenty of people who just need the steps explained and suddenly they’re killing it. On the flip side, they might never get those steps explained and, despite what you can see is a sincere engagement with the process, they can’t seem to do a good scene at a basic level. In my experience in the English and improv classroom, this is almost always due to the teacher not breaking down the process into manageable steps, or, if the process was adequately broken down, the student is trying to “skip steps” and get to the result faster because he thinks that having to work through the steps makes him “dumber” or “less funny,” respectively.
Hoo boy. A big fat yes to this post.