Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Lessons in a Bog

We teach what we need to learn. Peter Elbow, I think, said that. He was one of my heroes when I borrowed courage from someone more wise than I to walk into a class full of adults and presume to tell them how to do something. Telling folks how to do something is usually pretty easy for me--unless it has to do with directions; telling them why they should do it has always been more difficult.

It is easier in a classroom to tell them why they should complete their essay or read the textbook. They have already made the decision to be in the class. I am just a signpost along the way to carrying out their own decision.

Leading, Drawing out. The classic definition of education.

This morning Morris was reading to me from some old diaries he has been transcribing. He noted a different use of leading, with reference to grain. It struck me as an apt motif for my work just now.

Back in the States my friends and I could go into gales of laughter when I would say, "I have an idea" because I was rarely without one or more. Now I have an idea that might be just like this tiny heath spotted orchid--a lovely wee blossom in a large open field--or it might be something that I grow on. To do that I'll have to explain first to myself and then to other people why we should do that.
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At 11:21 PM, Blogger Ruan Peat said...

And lead you did well my love, I haven't produced any poetry I would show any one for decades, but typed up saturdays and showed it to one of my tame teachers who loved it... thank you.


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