Friday, February 20, 2009

To Teach by Not Teaching

This is one of my goal in teaching, to teach by not teaching.  It sounds fascinating although I'm not sure what it is about but I think it is a way of learning.  A number of years ago I was asked to teach a course that I was least familiar with because the main instructor was on research leave.  I was not the most competent person but as I stepped in with lots of emptiness and curiosity about the lives of my students and their struggle with grief, that class became one of the most enjoyable courses for me.  I have not had a chance to teach that since because the main professor for the course is back but it is a reminder that emptiness has a way of soliciting ideas, or emptiness has a way of inviting the flow of concepts and perspectives.  It is ironical how I go to class empty and come out with ideas and fresh perspectives.  By emptiness I do not mean going in without any preparation but pretty much learning for myself and preparing to learn from students as a method of instruction.  I wonder if people learn best when they are able to put things together for themselves and perhaps this is the most meaningful way to learn.  With this in mind, my role seems to be to just evoke and permit.  

No comments:

Post a Comment