How lecturing is the opposite of how we learn

May 1, 2015 by Joshua
in Education

Think of a big lesson you learned. Think of all the big life lessons you learned.

Rarely do big life lessons come from someone telling you the answer. You learn them from experience.

I suspect you’re like me, in that you go through life, constantly learning, constantly refining your understanding of the world. If so, you understand the world based on your experience. You develop a philosophy and how to do things.

If you then try to lecture someone your philosophy or how to do things based on your experience, it won’t fit with their experience. You didn’t learn your experience from someone telling you the answers. Telling someone else the answers doesn’t make them know the answers. It only gives them another experience.

If a teacher stands in front of a room telling facts to students, the students may remember some facts, but what did they experience? That someone else is making them sit still and is telling them what they should consider important or not, not letting them experience things or figure out what they consider important. What are they learning from that experience? Not to love physics, history, art, or what the teacher is talking about. Everyone is unique, but they could be learning to resent authority, to keep quiet to avoid punishment, and a bunch of things based on their experience, unrelated to the subject of the lecture.

If you learned a lesson through experience, telling people answers gives them facts and devalues their experience, especially if it differs from yours. Giving someone experiences to learn what you consider so important.

I doubt most teachers only lecture facts. I’m sure many share stories, give projects that give experience, and things like that. I haven’t been a student in a classroom for a long time, but I remember sitting through a lot of lectures.

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1 response to “How lecturing is the opposite of how we learn

  1. Pingback: How to teach or influence - Joshua Spodek

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