I cannot teach anybody anything (REVISITED)

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. Socrates

This really is my basic premise to learning and teaching and it shapes the way I work as a teacher, a parent and a grandparent. While I think of my self as a teacher the way I teach may be different to you. It's just the way I am and the way you are.
I like to present an invitation to explore and that is how I set up most of the activities for children. Here is an example:

  • Place some rocks and some smaller pebbles and a few leaves and a few wooden animals or plastic animals together. 
  • A child comes along and there are no expectations of what to do. 
  • As a teacher I just observe, unless I am asked verbally or in gesture to join in. 
  • What ever happens is wonderful, whatever happens is a learning experience for me and hopefully for the child.
  • The next time I see that particular child, the one who wanted to catch a lizard to put with the habitat they created with the rocks and leaves, for example, I try to find that storybook about lizards  or Photo book about nature and insects, or help them create a lizard habitat in the garden
You see I cannot teach them anything... I like them to discover it for themselves through their own interests and their ways of seeing the world. 
How do you teach? I would love to learn...


Kirsty @ Bowerbird Blue said...

beautiful sentiments, I like the place you have taken them too with the mix of natural and man made materials, what child couldn't create an adventure from there?

Lesley said...

Thanks Kirsty, I am so glad you got what I was trying to convey. :)

m said...

I'm so glad I found your site! I love this post. My husband and I talk about this org of thing a lot. Thank you for sharing, it was a spark to my day to do more of this! Cheers!

Launna said...

This is awesome Lesley, I wish all teachers taught like this, we could have some amazing children that thought for themselves:)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a wonderful quote! I think it is so filled with truth.

The Monko said...

what a great post. And oddly timely. I was just thinking about how my son isn't interested in numbers and letters at the moment and thats OK with me. If I lay out letters, he will use them as cargo for his trains or stack them like blocks. But I still learn something about him from that observation.
Thanks for sharing. I'm pinning to the sunday parenting party pinterest board and featuring this weekend.


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