Simply Contemplate: There are no magic formulas for teaching

posted in: pedagogical | 5

wordy wednesday

I just started The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet, and have been surprised at how easy to read and yet thought-provoking it has been: a mark of truly good writing.

The Art of Teaching: What does it mean for teaching to be human?

“Scientific” teaching, even of scientific subjects, will be inadequate as long as both teachers and pupils are human beings. Teaching is not like inducing a chemical reaction. It is much more like panting a picture or making a piece of music, or on a lower level like planting a garden or writing a friendly letter. You must throw your heart into it, you must realize that it cannot be done by formulas, or you will spoil your work, and your pupils, and yourself (viii).

“Throw your heart into it” is the phrase I am latching onto for this week of homeschooling my very human pupils.

5 Responses

  1. Cindy
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    I read that book while my mom was in the hospital a few years ago and I was in the waiting room for long periods of time. Very good book and excellent quote. I need to be reminded of this over and over and over again.

  2. Brandy @ Afterthoughts
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    I love this quote! Excellent first-week-of-school thought. Hope you don’t mind if I borrow it. :)

  3. dawn
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    I’ve been interested in this book, but this threw it over the edge for me … I ordered it!

  4. Carol
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    ‘You must throw your heart into it, you must realize that it cannot be done by formulas’ – wonderful!

  5. Julia
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    Oooh, I just received this book in the mail today. It was a toss up between Art of Teaching and James Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom as to which one to start first. Desiring the Kingdom won out but after reading your quote, I might just do double duty.