The best teachers are still just facilitators

September 10, 2007

I really enjoyed Dr. Howell’s post here since he touched on a point that so many teachers and students miss. The point that Dr. Howell stated more eloquently than most is that all teachers just facilitate learning. Learning or things that we learn have become implanted in our mind due to our own working with the information to internalize it and make it a part of ourselves. Unless you can do the Vulcan mind meld trick or something else along those lines, the only route that you have to teach students is via the senses that we evolved. So, everything we teach is outside of the mind (aka at a distance) and we as teachers are trying to get the information to go through these channels.

Using this logic, could it not be made a valid argument as to whether even if you are in the room teaching a student you are still separated by a distance? The only thing is classroom teachers are just really good at using tools to communicate at these distances. Therefore, people who don’t like distance education are scared by it since they  aren’t versed at using the distance education  set of tools as well as the “in class” teaching tools they use. This concept is so powerful. I find myself wondering why colleges of education do not teach this concept at an introductory level in their education classes instead of in graduate classes once you have already been indoctrinated with the in class form of communication as the default. So are the teachers that we call “exceptional”just the ones who can best transmit the information through the senses that we have to allow us to experience information in a way that we may internalize it whether it be at a distance of 3 feet or 3,000 miles?

So in 100 years will people look back at us and wonder why we didn’t open our eyes and use the resources at hand? Or will education as a field finally let go and open itself to other move efficient forms of teaching?


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