Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Friday, April 04, 2008


As I watched my students writing their midterm exam this morning, I thought about the benefits of experience. If you have any at all, in any area, you know what I mean.
Hmm, at Dictionary dot com, the fifth definition says:
Philosophy. the totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered.
"ALL that is understood." That's one heckuva lot.
Anyway, as I watched my students puzzle and scribble, I wondered if one can pass on the benefits of one's experience? Or do people simply have to experience things themselves in order to learn or understand the thing? Now that I've written this, I think the answer depends on your personality and how you learn things generally. In the Myers-Briggs lexicon, if you are a "Sensor" instead of an "iNtuitive", then you probably would have to experience the thing itself to learn what it is. Which is why I am even asking the question, because I am the opposite of the "Sensor" type.

So I started to muse about whether I can pass on the benefits of what I have learned but now I realize that it depends on the passee - who are they, what do they know already, are they ready to learn, what is their learning style, do they even know? So people can be taught about a subject but they have to be willing to learn and they have to make an effort too. Learning is not passive, but even when you tell students that, some of them still refuse to engage. Such will be the story of teaching the human residents of this planet what they can do to make it a better place, even for themselves.

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