Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesdays with Words : The Art of Teaching

Linking up with Dawn for Wednesdays with Words.

I recently finished reading The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet.  This particular passage really caught my attention. 

Do we use the words "inherit" and "heredity" to cover up our feeling that parents ought to think very carefully about how and what to teach their children, although most of them do not? Do we wish to imply that it will be all right without planning, that what we wish our children to learn will get into them somehow, through their pores perhaps? If so, we are wrong. We know that the world is full of people who are unhappy because they are vague and confused. Yet we often miss the priceless chance of teaching our own children something sure and reliable. The commonest answer to this charge is that we don't know ourselves what is sure and reliable. But that is not true. By the time we have reached the age of thirty-five or forty,  and our children are becoming old enough to be taught the difficult questions, we have found answers which satisfy us as a working basis. Good. Let us teach them to our children. They will criticize them, attack them, and discard them, for a time at least. Good. We have done our duty. We have given them a basis to work on for themselves. They can accuse us of teaching them wrongly (although not usually deliberately of cheating them), and of trying to thrust our opinions down their throats (however gently we teach them, they will say that); but they cannot say we neglected them, wasting forty years of our experience and fifteen years of their lives. 

1 comment:

  1. I bought this last year when Mystie was reading it and your quote only make a me want to move it back into the queue.

    I love the idea that it is our duty to share what we have learned and to let our children wrestle with it until they learn, too.


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