Absence of Teaching

“Where there has been no learning, there has been no teaching.”

I was reminded yesterday, courtesy of C. Northcutte Parkinson, is that teaching is conditional on learning. IOW, teaching fails when there is no learning.

I have commented several times previously on how the schules, even the colleges, are failing, and failing miserably. But yesterday I asked myself whether there was some problem beyond the easily observable. And this led me to ask about learning. I immediately recalled how rare learning is among the GEN Y. They lack even basics, like grammar and basic things that previous generations have known. Why?

There are two types of learning: curiosity learning and compulsion learning. The former is motivated from within and needs only be facilitated, channeled, and, above all, NOT stifled. The latter is pain avoidance learning; learning occurs because its pain is less than the alternative. This learning is motivated from outside and must be forced. Schules are supposed to embody both. Optimally.

The problem, at least the first problem, is to recognize the difference between the two because the tactics used for the second can and will destroy the first. And the tactics used for the first totally miss the second. So the first job of teaching is to distinguish between individuals and situations of curiosity and compulsion learning. The second job is to act appropriately to effect the learning.

This seems to be where the schules are failing. On both counts. Most seriously, they are failing to identify individuals who want to learn and will learn on their own and only need facilitation from individuals who do not want to learn and must be coerced. They are treating everyone the same and failing all.

That seems to be one reason they are educationalists and not teachers. They can’t teach, and their pupils aren’t; they can’t learn. If they want to learn they are prevented and if they don’t want to learn they aren’t forced.

Ideally, at some point an individual learns enough, if not already a curiosity learner, to become one. This does not happen to everyone. Some people cannot become curiosity learners. They just stay bogs. But the folks who are geek and nerds are curiosity learners. And the older one gets the less likely it is to become a curiosity learner. So if one graduates from high schule without becoming a curiosity learner in at least some area, then the odds are one won’t and college is a waste on that person. They can’t become educated.

And too many of the folks I meet today, GEN Ys, who have graduated from college are not curiosity learners. They aren’t educated. They have failed and the educational system has failed them because it failed to teach.

And that seems to be why and how the schules are failing.

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