Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teaching is not possible, only learning facilitation

Just throwing this out while I have it in my mind.
Many years ago now, the term learning facilitator was brought up and most teachers as well as myself discussed what a crazy, politically correct term. Nowadays I realise just how much this explains what we need to do.
I honestly believe that it is impossible to teach anybody (apart from yourself) anything at all. However, it is possible and commendable to help people learn. The old saying "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink" is exactly what is going on here. And I do not just mean that some students are switched off. Even the very best students cannot be taught! They can learn and you can provide the best facilitation to make the learning as easy as possible, but you cannot force the learning into their head.
What we need to realise as teachers is that it does not matter how each student learns, we only need to provide the structure to allow this process to be an easy transmission.