[IAEP] [support-gang] When teaching restrains discovery

Bastien bastien.guerry at wikimedia.fr
Thu Jan 20 09:46:48 EST 2011

Hi Christoph and all,

I always enjoy those resources about education, thank you for the
pointers -- and to everyone for the comments!

Let me share two recent readings of mine:

John Maeda : The Laws of Simplicity


My attention got caught when I saw John Maeda referring to Nicholas
Negroponte in the chapter « Context ».  While discussing the importance
of focusing, he mentions this advice from NN : "Be as an electric bulb,
not as a lazer ray."  Which I found to be quite an inspiring metaphor in
the context of learning: let's all learn how to shed light on things as
bulbs, taking care of others and the context, not as lazer ray, only
taking care of the subject matter.

George Steiner - « Éloge de la transmission - Le maître et l'élève »


(Sorry, only published in french.)

In the debate about instructionisme vs. [constructionisme, project-based
method, Montessori method, etc.], most people would certainly say that
Steiner -- George, not Rudolph! -- is rather conservative, expressing
opinions shared by teachers with a classical-instructionist attitude.
The title of this book says it all.

Still, he proposes a definition for what it is to be a "master": it is
someone from which students can always feel "the love behind the irony".
Of course, Socrates comes to mind as a master of both irony and love
towards its pupils -- I bet Steiner would agree.

I like this definition.  It is general enough to escape the opposition
between instructionism / [constructionisme, ...].  But still, I feel
this definition captures something essential that any teacher could
fruitfully think about.

My 2 cents,


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