Anybody Else

One of the more consistent patterns in education (regarding face-to-face classes at least) is the fact that if I am a knowledgeable person about a given subject, I tend to feel very willing to speak up. Everyone has different areas of life where they are shy and where they are openly friendly, and while I am certainly shy in some aspects of life, participating in intellectual discussion is not one of those circumstances. What I have found is that the combination of a good memory and quick response time tends to lead to an equally consistent response on the part of many instructors, and that is desiring other people besides me to participate. This is often expressed, sometimes rapidly, in very blunt statements similar to those faced by Hermoine in the Harry Potter series as her hand goes up constantly to answer questions, given her identity as an intellectual outsider.

It is easy to understand why a teacher wants interaction from multiple people. A teacher likes to know that they are getting the point across to as many students as possible, and knowing that one student is getting the point over and over again is not particularly helpful. Indeed, students who are knowledgeable, attentive, and eager to answer questions or interact tend to be taken for granted. Everyone expects us to know the answers most of the time, and so it is not something that tends to be noticed at all. There are a few people like that, but from what I have seen such people are rare in most circumstances, and that even though the result is fairly predictable, one wonders why this is the case given how rare the circumstances is likely to be. I suppose there might be one in every class, but people who behave as I do in classes are rather rare.

So, since I know a fair amount of people who have the same kind of interests in studying that I do, I would like to pose a few brief questions here for others in terms of sharing their classroom experience as students (or teachers). Have you ever been, or have you ever had, the sort of student that liked to and was able to intelligently answer questions all the time? What are some of the circumstances that lead one to not want to speak out when one knows the answer? In those experiences where I have been a teacher, I tend to prefer a conversational and collegial sort of lecturing, where I ask a lot of questions and hear what others have to say. I have found that people of all ages can have startling insights and surprising wisdom, and I always feel better when I can recognize the wisdom of those around me, as it helps me feel better about others. Is that not a great aid to learning in general? I have always found that finding what people like to learn, how they think, and how they approach life is a great aid to getting to know them better and help them to appreciate the wonder of learning.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to Anybody Else

  1. Pingback: Who Says? | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: You Won’t Find The Answers Until You First Have Questions | Edge Induced Cohesion

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