Posted by: austend | Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thoughts for Teachers Pt. 9

On Students:

The pupil who is taught without doing any studying for himself will be like one who is fed without being given any exercise: he will lose both his appetite and strength.

Confidence in our own powers is an essential condition of their successful use.  This confidence can be gained only by self-prompted, voluntary, and independent use of these capacities.  We learn to walk not by seeing others walk but by walking.  The same is true of mental abilities.

The difference between the pupil who works for himself and the one who works only when he is driven is too obvious to need explanation.  The one is a free agent, the other is a machine.  The former is attracted by his work, and, prompted by his own interest, he works on until he meets some overwhelming difficulty or reaches the end of his task.  The latter moves only when he is urged.  He sees what is shown him, he hears what he is told, advances when his teacher leads, and stops just where and when the teacher stops.  The one moves by his own activities, and the other by borrowed impulse.  The former is a mountain stream fed by living springs, the latter a ditch filled from a pump worked by another’s hands.

Only when the mental powers work freely and in their own way can the product be sure or permanent.  Only when the student uses their own mind by themselves in their own way can the things they are studying be truly learned and remembered permanently.

These are all thoughts taken directly from:
John Milton Gregory, The Seven Laws of Teaching, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1954). {Here}

This is an outstanding book! I highly recommend it for anyone who does any type of teaching.

Those statements in italics are my explanatory notes for possibly unclear statements.

This is part of a series: {All Posts in Series}

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