I see this in my classes in K12 and higher ed when giving assignments. If I give students a template for their work, or an exemplar to follow…I’ll get 25 examples of what I showed them. But, if I share my objectives and give them the tools…I get 25 different examples of student work that were previously unimaginable by myself…or the students. The challenge is that I also have to coach up the students and keep them on the path…while dealing with their frustrations. I think it’s worth it in the end…but the journey can be tough.
I’ve also seen the same experience in having students/learners start with a new program. In workshops, I’ll have students/learners play with starting up a new website, or learning Scratch, or making a movie. If I give them the template to get started, they’ll take the time for the learning curve, and then spend a lot of time at the end breaking the template…or deleting and starting over. Whereas, if I start them with a blank slate, there is some angst and consternation at the beginning…but after that it’s a much better starting point.