Saturday, 26 May 2012
Douglas Adams On Teaching And Learning.
"What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?" This question seemed to provoke a murmur of sympathetic approval from up and down the table.
Richard continued, "What I mean is that if you really want to understand something, the best way is to try and explain it to someone else. That forces you to sort it out in your mind. And the more slow and dim-witted your pupil, the more you have to break things down into more and more simple ideas. And that's really the essence of programming. By the time you've sorted out a complicated idea into little steps that even a stupid machine can deal with, you've learned something about it yourself."
Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently.
I tried teaching flute once, unsuccessfully. I'm not really sure what I do myself, so don't know how to teach it to someone else. Some things are best left a mystery.
I believe a love letter serves this purpose, by saying out loud what we feel the feeling becomes real, we begin to comprehend it's immensity.
The master/apprentice relationship is part of our culture, it works. Perhaps we can be both, master and apprentice, in every human interaction? Learn when we teach, learn when we are taught. Us humans are compulsive communicators, we need to express our knowledge and emotions to truly understand them.