Sunday, June 15, 2008

Apathy Jack writes:

As every practising teacher understands, resistance is a necessary factor in teaching. Soft non-resistant material takes an imprint very readily only to lose it again very quickly. Easy pupils make teaching slipshod. The difficulty but also the soundness of teaching increases with the amount of reaction in the learner. And also resistance involves a certain amount of collaboration; the thing learnt becomes a resultant, incorporating elements introduced in the struggle. It is easier to carve cheese than a good piece of wood; every piece of wood has a bias, it has to be delt with on its own terms, it has to be managed and humoured, but in the end there is no comparison in the quality and interest between carved cheese and woodcarving.

-HG Wells, The Shape of Things to Come


Paul said...

But wait, I thought teaching was about

mollycoddling people so that they don't have to justify their assumptions.

Eric Olthwaite said...

Max Weber:

The primary task of a useful teacher is to teach his students to recognize ‘inconvenient’ facts - I mean facts that are inconvenient for their party opinions. And for every party opinion there are facts that are extremely inconvenient, for my own opinion no less than for others. I believe the teacher accomplishes more than a mere intellectual task if he compels his audience to accustom itself to the existence of such facts. I would be so immodest as even to apply the expression ‘moral achievement’, though perhaps that may sound too grandiose for something that should go without saying.