Teaching the Smart vs. the Stupid LO13416

Malcolm Burson (mburson@chcs-me.org)
Tue, 29 Apr 97 15:22:19 PDT

Replying to LO13364 --

On Wednesday the 23rd, Tony wrote,

>In LO13342, Ben expressed joy in teaching smart people and >frustration
>in "teachingstupid and/or lazy people".

>Could we clarify what the problem is? Is the problem that some
>people are stupid and/or lazy or are some people just disinterested
>in what others want them to learn?

I second the motion. As a professional educator, I know how easy it is to
make assumptions about what "they" need to know, without having inquired
about what they're interested in learning. Finding the shared space
between those two is for me the essenc e of good practice.

A few years ago, while between jobs, I did some substitute high school
teaching. My most gratifying moments came not with the supposed "college
prep" bunch, who were rude beyond belief, but with the "remedial civics"
class, including several "slow learne rs" and otherwise LD kids. I was
only expected to "mind the store" and keep order, not teach; but I found
that gently inquiring into the things they were interested in produced
classes in which they slowly increasing their interest in the "official"
subject matter. I now carry them with me into all my teaching
activities, and in planning for training a very diverse employee group.

Malcolm Burson
Community Health and Counseling
Bangor, Maine
Malcolm Burson
Community Health and Counseling
Bangor, ME


Malcolm Burson <mburson@chcs-me.org>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>