Friday, February 03, 2012

learning, not teaching

A former student, pondering a teaching career, asks me a few questions, and I offer short answers.

What do you think is the purpose of education?

Not to teach but to enable learning. That will sometimes entail teaching, but mostly will entail other modes.

What do you think is important to teach?

Not important to teach, but important to be part of organizations dedicated to enabling learning. The reasons for that are obvious. Learners often (although not always) benefit from guidance when they deal with materials and with problems new to them. They also benefit from guidance when the environment (outside schools--e.g. family, wartorn or poverty-stricken communities, etc.) is not otherwise conducive to thought.

What strategies or methods do you think are effective?

Leading discussions of problems and materials is effective. Lecturing is not.