Monday, July 20, 2015

mentor and guide...

One of my cousins is head of the broadcast journalism school at a major university and asked me what professors are to teach when students have better immediate grasp of the technology than do their professors. But this assumes that all the professors are to teach are those things that give a technical proficiency and not an in depth understanding of the student's appropriate role in human culture.

The ease with which children grasp new technologies has diminished the necessity of "training" in the old sense, but as technologies have become more potent, the necessity of values training in the appropriate use of technologies has grown.

The question arises, how are we to be with each other? What children were to learn in kindergarten has been displaced by standardized testing. The sorting process of who is to do what begins much earlier in life. Instead of children learning to get along with each other and to become problem solvers, they are fed a steady diet of information and misinformation and pushed along through the system until some of them arrive at the top, without a clue the basics of how civilization was crafted, and arrive at the top unskilled in the process of building culture.

At some point in the process, as children learn to know, they must also learn the values of being responsible, honest, caring, loving, etc. Those were some of the values that children learn through craftsmanship and were supposed to learn in Kindergarten. And so, even when the students have a better grasp of some things than does their professor, there are still things that must be learned and learned well, and at great depth. It is through association with good character and being held accountable to good character that these traits are passed from one generation to the next.

At some point, educational policy makers must be led to an understanding that we all learn best by doing, and that to do under the guidance of mentors may be be the best path forward. By doing, we learn at greater depth. Mentors help to frame the experience and direct it toward greater meaning, both for the student and for the society at large.

Make, fix and create... teach others to do likewise.

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