Friday, February 6, 2009

Bad Teachers Teach Unintended Lessons

The only rational way of educating is to be an example--if one can't help it, a warning example.
-Albert Einstein (1934)

Teachers of all kinds; school teachers, parents, preachers and mentors, are generally unaware of what they really teach. Humans learn through patterns. A lecture may fit into a student's worldview in a way which most likely is unknown by the teacher. The student makes her own emotional connections, which are affected by her relationship with the teacher, her current life path, past experiences, distant memories, her biological make-up and even the day's weather. The teacher most likely to affect his student in line with his intentions is acutely aware of his mood, genuine level of enthusiasm and self-interest. The worst teacher still teaches what she knows best, but it may not be what she intends her student to learn.

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