Sunday, August 23, 2015

The idea of teaching is confused

The idea of teaching is confused. It sets the goal post at what the teacher says instead of what the truth is.

Learning, on the other hand, sets the goal post at the truth. It’s a matter of creating knowledge about the truth as each person involved makes guesses about the truth and rules out guesses with criticism. The focus is on trying to create knowledge about the truth and finding and fixing flaws in our knowledge to get ever closer to the truth.

Teaching isn't about that. The focus is on the teacher trying to make the student learn what the teacher said. The possibility that the teacher can be wrong is ignored.

But there are exceptions. Like Richard Feynman. He was a professor of physics. And he was known as The Great Explainer. What he did was explain what he knows and how he knows it. And he tailored his explanations to the questions his students asked him. 

Sadly most people who decide to go to college do it because they want to be
taught. They don't want the responsibility of judging the ideas to figure out which ones are true and which ones are false. They want the responsibility to be on their teachers. What they want is to be able to accept on authority what their teachers tell them, without any critical thinking of their own.

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