Repeat after me…

November 27, 2008

“We say we want sensitive, thoughtful, analytic, independent scholars, then we treat them like Belgian geese being stuffed for paté de foie gras. We reward them for compliance, rather than independence; for giving the answers we have taught them rather than for challenging the conclusions we have reached”

G.E. Miller, ‘Teaching and Learning in Medical Schools (Medical Education 12 supplement 1978)


Heidegger on Education

November 24, 2008

“TEACHING is even more difficult than learning… and why is teaching more difficult than learning?  Not because the teacher must have a larger store of information, and have it always ready.  Teaching is more difficult than learning because what teaching calls for is this: to let learn.  The real teacher, in fact, lets nothing else be learned than- learning.  His conduct, therefore, often produces the impression that we properly learn nothing from him, if by ‘learning’ we now suddenly understand merely the procurement of useful information.  The teacher is ahead of his students in this alone, that he still has far more to learn than they- he has to learn to let them learn.  The teacher must be capable of being more teachable than the apprentices.  The teacher is far less assured of his ground than those who learn are of theirs.  If the relation between the teacher and the taught is genuine, therefore, there is never a place in it for the authority of the know-it-all or the authoritative sway of the official.  It is still an exalted matter then, to become a teacher- that is something else entirely than becoming a famous professor.”

            Martin Heidegger: ‘What is called thinking?’