Friday, March 6, 2009

Micklethwait On Teaching

Brian Micklethwait uncovers one of the secrets of teaching:

I have to be willing to give up teaching in order to do the teaching I want to do properly.

I wonder what clues give a student the idea that he ought to actually listen to a person, that the person at the chalkboard is a teacher- in the sense a teacher has knowledge to transmit, knowledge the student wants to know. I have been subjected to public schools, so one generally learns to identify teachers by implied threat; these people have a lot of control over a child's life, regardless of whether or not their knowledge is worth two cents. In the coercive scenario, teacher is merely a title, having little or no descriptive value in terms of what the person actually does.

I suspect when a child, as in Micklethwait's case, makes disrespectful sartorial choices, he is, one the one hand, being an ass, but on the other- well he may be trying to figure out the value of the product. Men buying gold act differently from men buying cheap beer from a gas station. Add in a complete lack accurate prices, due to the level of state inteference in education, and it's no wonder the average student finds it incredibly tough to make a valuation.

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