Friday, January 8, 2010

Why we want to teach...

We've all been through a lot. Some have been through more than others, but what's important is that we all have different experiences, and none of us has the same lessons to learn from life. That's just the way it is.

Yet, constantly, we are trying to teach others what we've learned. Why? Why don't people take our advice? Why can't others understand all we've been through and avoid the same pain? After all, we are telling them how it is! We've been there!

My answer to this is simple, its because we don't want to.

We, as humans, want to learn in a way that is engaging and fulfilling to us, which may not necessarily be the way our peers have learned. We want to experience life, not be told about it. As I look back, I remember that my favorite teachers were always those that engaged me and wanted to know what I thought. They were also typically the teachers that most of the students enjoyed. These educators understood the power of experience. Experience, it is said, is the great teacher of people. The school system is built with the idea that we will enter an environment that will allow us to learn, but what happens if the classroom does not give a student the correct learning experience? What happens when the experience is counter-productive to students' learning?

The system falls apart, students leave, students fail. Not that it was actually the student that failed, but because the school failed. It failed to give the student the proper experience he/she needed to learn.

Now, the bigger problem?

Only the student knows what experience will lead to proper learning for him/her. Only the student knows how best to educate him/herself.

Now, the biggest problem?

The school is to structured. It has too many rigid edges. It's too stiff.

The solution?

A school that is malleable. A school that can bend but not break. A school where the object is to create experiences catered to students, not to some, but to all.

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