Monday, May 18, 2015

We Teach Nothing

My view is this: We teach nothing.  We do not teach physics nor do we teach students.  (I take physics merely as an example.) What is the same thing: No one is taught anything! Here lies the folly of this business.  We try to teach somebody nothing.  This is a sorry endeavour for no one can be taught a thing.  What we do, if we are successful, is to stir interest in the matter at hand, awaken enthusiasm for it, arouse a curiosity, kindle a feeling, fire up the imagination.  To my own teachers who handled me in this way, I owe a great and lasting debt.

-- Julius Sumner Miller (1909-1987), American science popularizer, What Science Teaching Needs, Junior College Journal, volume 38 (1967), American Association of Junior Colleges, Stanford University

No comments: