Heidegger on Education

“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?’

One Response to Heidegger on Education

  1. FPdR says:

    This is a great way of writing down the conundrum faced by teachers when they stand in front of a class indeed. Beyond what is said, i would like to add something that i consider extreemly impotrtant : it is good to be always be questioning oneself on what it is we do, let learn, but the purification of the educational role down to it’s abstract form of teaching the sole strength of learning is not the only thing a studnet needs. I think it gets harder for teachers out there, i think they must also allow students to take up what knowledge and wisdom they have and can dispense, not in a didactic-dogmatic manner, but as an exchange, not for exams, but simply to understand where they stand, what is around them…
    Younger people nowadays have very little wisdom around them to develop an understanding of what is around them, teachers are not there to provide for these answers, but being able to let students acquire a depth of mind is capital, and learning is useless if one does not have the drawback necessary to only use the learning process “properly”…

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