“From the day I could talk I was told to listen.” Cat Stevens’ lyric.

For those who need to learn, or for those who have the responsibility to teach, coach, mentor, or train, is it enough to have a one-way monologue? Do people learn best when they are passive? Is didactic teaching the best way for learners to learn, or teachers to teach?

John Caldwell Holt answers with this. “Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.” 

“We’ve always taught by having the teacher talking and the learner taking notes.” That was a school superintendent responding to me after my presentation to a state association of superintendents conference. I was advocating for a change towards encouraging questioning. During this I quoted Isaac Asimov, “Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”   

At the time I didn’t respond with this, but I should have: “You cannot teach today the same way you did yesterday to prepare students for tomorrow.” John Dewey. 1925.

In his comments afterwards my host, the president of the state association of superintendents, thanked me and then addressed his fellow superintendents, “We would all love to incorporate your ideas,” he paused and then added, “but it’s illegal.” The audience guffawed at his joke. Except, as he explained later, it wasn’t a joke.

Download my FREE Terego Ideation Method™ Workbook  It will give you a tool to help your children polish their dazzling hybrid skills through asking questions, and engaging deeply with the material.  

Thanks for reading. 

Alex

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