| David Gane

Revisiting my Teaching Philosophy

Over the past few days, I've been revisiting my teaching philosophy and considering ways to improve it.

When I built the original version of the document, the question that weighed most heavily on my mind was how do I teach in a field where there are so many good books and resources to learn from.

I was reminded of this video from Seth Godin[1] that discussed a similar idea:

At 10:17, he says,:

And so we're now at this crossroads because technology is here too. And the technology says, you know what, for the first time in history, we do not need a human being to stand next to us to teach us to do square roots. For the first time in history, we do not need a human being to teach us how to sharpen an ax because the internet connects us all.

Maybe you want to tell me that I shouldn't consider pedagogical ideas from a man who speaks about marketing, but if you look at my teaching philosophy, he and I both came to a similar conclusion.

He suggests a teacher's roles should transform into a coach, and I agree, but after doing a couple of semesters, I know it's only possible if the student is willing to play.

I love acquiring knowledge and I believe that most students are capable of doing the work. However, it requires a collaboration between teacher and student and this requires work on both sides. If one half of the equation is unwilling to give, no matter how hard the other side tries, no learning can take place.[2]

In the end, I didn't change much of my original philosophy. I still believe that great teachers are the ones that challenge, lead, and coach and I aspire to that philosophy every chance I get.


  1. There is also this, this, and this from him. ↩︎

  2. To be clear, I really mean this requires both teacher and student. ↩︎

Tags: Teaching

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