Friday, March 23, 2012

Real Teaching & Real Learning

I’m passionate about education, and I’m passionate about teaching. I’m passionate because I love learning, and I love teaching. Sometimes I’m even good at learning. I hate it too though. And very often I’m pretty miserable at both. But the world needs great learning and great teaching. So I must tenaciously seek to fulfill my mission in regards to education and learning. In the process I’m grateful for God’s servants to help us understand His Truth in regards to Teaching and Learning. In the October, 2011 LDS General Conference Matthew O. Richardson gave a talk entitled, Teaching after the Manner of the Spirit. The following quotes are from this talk:
 I have learned that a key to becoming real in every aspect of our lives is our ability to teach in a way that does not restrict learning. You see, a real life requires real learning, which depends on real teaching.
In another post, I admitted that I hate teaching, mostly because I’m overly sensitive to anything that even remotely smacks of non-real teaching. Overly. Enough that I simply walk away from such teaching when I should find a way to help the world have more real teaching and more real learning.
While we are all teachers, we must fully realize that it is the Holy Ghost who is the real teacher and witness of all truth. . . . As we align our manner with the Holy Ghost’s manner, then the Holy Ghost can teach and testify without restraint.
This is both frustrating and comforting. Frustrating in that we over shoot the mark with our teaching so often. Comforting to know that all we have to do is lead the horse to the water. Then we just let the Spirit do the rest.
The Holy Ghost teaches individuals in a very personal way. This makes it possible for us to intimately know truth for ourselves. . . . . Those who teach after the manner of the Spirit understand they teach people, not lessons.
What is the implication of this idea of teaching people not lessons? How do we apply that? I love this question too much to even attempt to answer it here.
The Holy Ghost teaches by inviting, prompting, encouraging, and inspiring us to act.  . . . . You see, the Holy Ghost cannot learn for us, feel for us, or act for us because this would be contrary to the doctrine of agency. He can facilitate opportunities and invite us to learn, feel, and act. . . . . Parents who mirror the workings of the Holy Ghost create homes where families learn to value rather than just learn about values. In like manner, rather than just talking about doctrines, teachers help learners understand and live gospel doctrines. The Holy Ghost is unrestrained as individuals exercise their agency appropriately.
One of the things I hate about teaching are the things teachers ask us to do. What kinds of things does the Holy Ghost invite us to do? What kinds of things do the Holy Ghost not invite us to do? Again, I hesitate to answer that really great questions. I’m pretty sure, however, that the Holy Ghost did not inspire the study guides required in my 5th grade Social Studies class, even though I really did like my teacher, Dr Darden.

So my tenacious passion for Real Teaching must be about inviting the Holy Ghost to teach so that the Learner can act. How does the Teacher do that? What does the Teacher do?

I love great questions!!!

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