Manifesto on Teaching
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My Guiding Principle as a Teacher:
Manifesto: A written statement declaring publically the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer.
The way I think humans learn is well stated by Harry Harlow's "Error Factor Theory." Harlow argued that learning consists of getting rid of errors, much in the same way that Michaelangelo said sculpting was the process of chiseling away all the rock that doesn't belong. Here is a link of quotes about the importance of learning from errors.
Learning will be most facilitated when mistakes can be made. Students (and teachers) need the freedom to be wrong.
My Teaching Mission:
- To remove human behavior from the realm of the magical by teaching the application of science to the study of behavior.
- This mission statement was inspired by both Egan and Arthur Clarke.
- Arthur Clarke once said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Egan is a science journalist who realized that his job was explaining technology to the public so they would not revert to "magic" as an explanation for scientific and technological discovery. (see reference)
The human cognitive system is technology--an evolved technology. My teaching mission is to remove human psychology from the realm of the magical to the realm of the understood.
- Egan, G. (1995). Distress . New York: Harper Prism, p. 27.
- "It was a technical advance worth communicating, worth explaining, worth demystifying. Whatever the social implications of the HealthGuard implant, they could be no more presented in a vacuum, divorced from the technology which made the device possible, than vice versa. Once people ceased to understand how the machines around them actually functioned, the world they inhabited began to dissolve into an incomprehensible dreamscape. Technology moved beyond control, beyond discussion, evoking only worship or loathing, dependence or alienation. Arthur C. Clarke had suggested that any sufficiently advanced technology would be indistinguishable from magic--referring to a possible encounter with an alien civilization--but if a science journalist had one responsibility above all else, it was to keep Clarke's Law from applying to human technology in human eyes."
Modified Sunday, March 25, 2007