Saturday, April 21, 2012


What it takes to learn?
One of the most talked virtues in teaching is "making difficult concepts easy to understand". One can struggle with this idea for it not only requires engagement from the teacher but also from the student, and the objective (might be course content) not being easily accessible to a simple interpretation.
As a metaphor one can use the idea of a symphony: how can one understand even enjoy a piece by Stravinsky if one hasn't a basic knowledge of harmony, melody, or rhythm?
Stravinsky Conducts Firebird
You can teach making it fun and using games like this video can show
but it will always be necessary for all to be engaged! Here is where "talent" becomes part of the learning "equation" as talent will be an individual attribute. Not everyone has "an ear" for music, or "a leg" for soccer! So how can we know what kind of talent is needed for a particular subject? And once we know what king of talent is required can we (teachers and councilors) help students develop such talent?
As we all we do in life everything is connected so one way to address this issue would be to find the links to the motivation needed for the development of such talent. Also we have to know the scope of the requirements in that particular field, for example a student seeking a degree that would allow him/her work as a pharmacist in retail might not need a course in quantum chemistry but one working in research might need. So can we know what the future will be for that student? Or by not teaching quantum chemistry to pharmacy students are we restricting the scope of the student's future?

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