All humans are, in one way or another, teachers. In this series of lectures, Dr. Patrick Allitt explores what it is to be a teacher. Today, what makes a learner? Are there different skills which learners need to cultivate?
The Art of Teaching: Best Practices from a Master Educator. Performed by Patrick N. Allitt. U.S.A.: The Teaching Company, 2010. DVD. Lecture 2, "The Broad Range of Learners"
Allitt observes that everyone engages in informal teaching and learning. In this lecture he points out several learning habits. Ultimately, everyone needs to educate himself. Parents are key in creating an atmosphere of lifelong learning. Encouraging curiosity is positive. College students often agree that their parents were formative in their learning habits. Allitt suggests that some parents who are able to homeschool are a great help to their children. Also, students who teach normally learn very well due to the teaching tasks. Cooperative learning may also be helpful due to the involvement of the different students as presenters of information.
Allitt observes that once people leave education they tend to know more about fewer things, losing some breadth. Experts need help applying their expertise to a variety of areas, while students need help developing that expertise.
Teaching is not merely imparting information, but enabling students to think in new ways. The educator also needs to continue gaining information and finding new ways to think. All people will do best if they are committed to learning and thinking as they see their world change. They need to be informed by the past and look to the future. Recognizing the intricate nature of our world allows us to learn and grow.
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