The Limits of Teaching

The failure of this and similar programs doesn’t surprise me at all. The dirty little secret of teaching is that… it’s actually pretty easy – it’s learning things that’s hard. But learning things isn’t the teacher’s job. Teachers can present information (preferably in multiple ways) and give general and individualized help on the best ways to learn it but… they can’t actually learn it in place of the students which is what expensive failed projects like this one seem to try to do (even if unconsciously).

She’s my idol and constant inspiration!

It’s true that a really, bad teacher can mess students up or turn them off a subject and occasionally a gifted pedagogue can make a previously dull subject interesting (for a time). But most of the time the very best teacher isn’t much better than an average, competent teacher. The desire to learn and the follow through work in actually learning has to come from the student (and the adults in the student’s life). Without that no teacher improvement will make any difference in the real world and with it no great teacher improvement is necessary.

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