The Best Teachers Are Those Who Show You Where To Look

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“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” – Alexandra K. Trenfor

Spoon-feeding in the context of academics has been practiced for many generations because of its convenience. The teacher spurts out everything she knows and the students simply have to take copious notes. Some of the students become teachers and they repeat the process! However, this teacher-centered approach hardly inspires students to take charge of their own learning; instead, it destroys independent thought and action.

The Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary says, “If you spoon-feed someone, you do everything for them or tell them everything that they need to know, thus preventing them from having to think or act for themselves.” Apparently, this age-old tradition needs to be discarded if teachers want active, motivated students. Active learning needs to be ensued.

In the past years, a paradigm shift called student-centered learning has been taking the reins in some classrooms. Instead of dominating the class, teachers have learned to facilitate their students’ learning and let the students do most of the talking. This “less is more” approach may take away precious lecture time to cover the syllabus but it promotes a deep conceptual understanding. Finland, one of the leading countries in education, has successfully adopted this method.

If you show your students where to look instead of telling them what to see, you teach them the essential skills of critical and independent thinking that inspires them to search for knowledge themselves. Apparently, the teacher’s role is not so much to provide knowledge as to teach students how to maximize their potential.

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