Friday, October 21, 2011

Do Teachers Still Wonder?

“We must remind ourselves how little we know and how much there is to know.” 

As we get older we attend more classes, have more experiences, and gain knowledge all along the way. For many of us learning becomes a means of survival, rather than an exploration of life. So where along the way do we forget to question, to wonder, to be curious?

Peter Huidekoper Jr. so clearly described the loss of wonderment and the need for its return in his article, “The Age of Wonder.” He says, “To learn, it is best to begin humble, open, unsure. Most adults know that feeling. Teachers must know that feeling. And yet, we forget. Sometimes, as we focus on convincing parents, students, principals (our evaluators), even colleagues, of how much we know, we lose touch with this quality we so hope to find in our students.” 

“Our foolish pride gets in the way as if we need to prove we know more than those darn bright kids staring back at us, who read better than we ever did and absorb new information faster than we ever could.”

Peter questions the desire teachers demonstrate to their students. Do they encourage desire and learning in the classroom? He reminds us that, “Searching invites participation. Knowing says, ‘I hope you can begin to catch up to me, here at the finish line, here with my wealth of information.’ The former fosters wonder and learning; the latter, regurgitation and boredom.”

Read the full article here.

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