Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Being smart

I don't particularly care for The Huffington Post, but sometimes they have some great pieces on there from some really smart people. 

This statement from a professor to his future students is a good one, but what I like even more is this response a commenter had to several of the commenters who said a good professor is one who "personalizes" instruction for his or her students:

Rob Engle · Florida A&M University
Wow, you people need to get a clue.
I had a college professor tell me my freshman year, "I'm not your teacher, and I'm not your friend - I'm here to guide you to the knowledge you must teach yourself, because there's not enough classroom time to cover everything you'll be expected to know by this course's completion. So put on your big boy/girl pants and get ready to work."

Best advice I ever got, both inside and outside the classroom.
And they were right, the tidbits I picked up in class were nothing compared to what I taught myself outside the classroom, whether in the library doing research for papers or reading in any one of a number of books I brought home outside of required reading. The professors merely show me the way. It was hard work, but I thrived because I put in the time. I learned, I wasn't spoon-fed. High school, by comparison, was more like kindergarten.
But the kids, and parents, of today seem to insist on the new hands-holding mentality that held them back in high school, and leaves the overwhelming majority needing to take remedial courses in math and English, and will leave them unprepared for the real world. About time they get a wake-up call.

I'm considering homeschooling for a whole variety of reasons, but one is because of the sheep-like learning that can (sometimes/often?) occur in schools.

I wasn't a magical teacher when I did teach, but I did try to make my instruction dynamic and meaningful, and I would hope that I instilled the learning independence that this man received from his professor.

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