Mortimer Adler - Teacher Quotes
6 Sourced Quotes
If you ask a living teacher a question, he will probably answer you. If you are puzzled by what he says, you can save yourself the trouble of thinking by asking him what he means. If, however, you ask a book a question, you must answer it yourself. In this respect a book is like nature or the world. When you question it, it answers you only to the extent that you do the work of thinking an analysis yourself.
It is obvious that teaching is a very special art, sharing with only two other arts, agriculture and medicine, an exceptionally important characteristic A doctor may do many things for his patient, but in the final analysis, it is the patient himself who must get well, grow in health. The farmer does many things for his plants or animals, but in the final analysis, it is they that must grow in size and excellence. Similarly, although the teacher may help his student in many ways, it is the student himself who must do the learning. Knowledge must grow in his mind if learning is to take place.
A report of the Carnegie Foundation recommended the abolition of the undergraduate bachelor of science degree in education leading to the state certification of teachers. Schools of education should become research institutions at the graduate level of the university and not places for the training of schoolteachers. Those planning to enter the profession of teaching should have four years of general, liberal education at the college level, and then three years of practice teaching under supervision... the best teacher is one who learns in the process of teaching.
To avoid this error, the error of assuming that that to be widely read and to be well read are the same thing, we must consider a certain distinction in types of learning.... In the history of education, men have often distinguished between learning by instruction and learning by discovery.... Discovery stands to instruction as learning without a teacher stands to learning through the help of one. In both cases the activity of learning goes on in the one who learns. It would be a mistake to suppose that discovery is active learning, and instruction passive. There is no inactive learning, just as there is no inactive reading. This is so true, in fact, that a better way to make the distinction clear is to call instruction aided discovery.