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Re^5: Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Dec 31, 2010 at 12:42 UTC ( #879928=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)
in thread Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)

I wonder what the difference between searching for ways to get attention as a sign of trouble and searching for ways to get attention as a sign of excellence?

oko1 has as his sig:

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. -- W. B. Yeats

Before you can teach anyone anything, you have to inspire them to want to learn it. Once you've done that, the next most important task is to teach them how to learn. Once they have the desire to learn, and the tools with which to do so, you can pretty much sit back and just prod them past their sticking points as they arise.

For a bit more, see Re: Computer Education in Public Schools, and the thread.


Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.


Comment on Re^5: Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)
Re^6: Bling Bling (or: Teaching Perl to Teenagers)
by andal (Friar) on Jan 04, 2011 at 09:38 UTC
    Before you can teach anyone anything, you have to inspire them to want to learn it. Once you've done that, the next most important task is to teach them how to learn. Once they have the desire to learn, and the tools with which to do so, you can pretty much sit back and just prod them past their sticking points as they arise.

    There's one thing that bothers me in the statements like this. In them, the "student" is considered to be of a "lesser" human, than the teacher. Does anyone really believe, that he/she can "inspire" anyone to learn some specific thing? Clear, that it is possible to inspire someone, but not anyone.

    The student is as much a human with desires and expectations as the teacher. He/she might know less on certain subjects, but it does not make him/her incapable of making choices. And he/she must be confronted with making choices. Is there any sense to drag someone by inspiring into learning things that the individual won't be able to apply later because of the lack of abilities? The teachers are not gods who mold humans. They just bring knowledge, and this alone does not make a person capable of using it.

    After all, the original statement was, that the future students are already high expecting from the course, but the expectations are based on the wrong assumptions. So it is clearly visible, that they might loose the interest when confronted with the reality. So, the question is, should this be allowed, or not? Should the teacher find ways to keep their interest even when they realize that what they assumed was wrong?

    I guess, I just don't view a teacher as an omnipotent being. As result, I didn't expect from the teacher any inspirations, quite opposite, I needed confrontation with the reality, so that I could learn about my abilities.

      In them, the "student" is considered to be of a "lesser" human, than the teacher.

      Sorry, but I meant nothing of the kind when I wrote the words you quote.

      I'm not, nor have ever been a teacher. And I certainly do not ascribe any god-like powers to teachers in general.

      However, I was lucky enough to have a teacher when I was aged 10/11 that inspired me. And from my dusty recollection of those years, the entire class I was a part of. I still have vivid recollections of many of the lessons he taught us; where for the most part I have none of most of my other teachers.


      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      My experience is that students find their own level. I think there is nothing wrong with inspiring students to truly enjoy something and be curious about something. At a certain point, the effort of learning will counter-balance the passion.

      Clearly, if the effort of learning outweighs the passion at a point below professional expertise, a person will never be a professional. However, there is certainly nothing wrong with doing something just because one enjoys it, even if one isn't very good at it. I'm a great believer in the joy of learning for its own sake and not just because one can reach a certain level.

      I rather think the real hubris is the teacher who thinks they are giving a student a dose of reality by dowsing their passion or refusing to awaken it. I can vividly remember an 11th grade American History teacher who didn't think much of me. She strongly discouraged me from taking an AP exam because she didn't think I was capable (for non-US readers the AP exam is a way of getting college level credit for coursework done in high-school). In reality, I just read primary sources differently than she did. Thankfully, I didn't listen to her and got a top score on the exam.

      A child (or adult)'s potential is impossible to measure until you've seen that light burning in their eyes.

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