> >> This is all well and good but these gifted students are just that, > >> students. And though I have always heard that someone really > >> understands a concept when they can teach it, I still think that it is > >> not the responsibility of the brighter student to teach the less capable > >> student. > > >It may not be their responsibility, but I believe it is in their best > >interest. > > Surely that depends on their interests. I can remember being used as > a mathematics tutor as far back as the third grade (in the mid-1950s), > and I remember that it was rather gratifying. And since I became a > teacher, it may even have been in some way in my best interest. However, > I also became a mathematician, and there's no doubt that it did nothing > to further *that* interest: when I was tutoring, I was *not* learning > mathematics. On that score I'd have been much better off tucked into > a corner with a 7th grade text. (Fortunately I was able to find such > things in the public library.)
But you did if fact go on and become a mathematician. It seems to me that tutoring did not get in you way. If you had been tucked in a corner with a 7th grade text you would have never learned the valuable ability to communicate what you have learned...you couldn't have found out how to do that at the public library. > Surely education should prepare one to face facts, and facts > are frequently unpleasant.
Certainly. But shouldn't education also provide us with the skills to face unpleasant facts with courage? It is easier to be brave in this world when you do not feel alone. Hence aren't communication skills just as important or more so than facts?