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Topic: What is word "teaching" for?
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Kazimierz Wiesak

Posts: 385
Registered: 12/6/04
What is word "teaching" for?
Posted: Oct 16, 2002 11:28 PM
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This goes a little off our basic topics but someone compared my beloved
Polish with its delicate finesse to "illiterate" English. Let us look at
that word "teach"

What is teaching? How do we measure its value to society? I would think
that the value of teaching is measured by what is left in the brains of
students, and that is the only measure. If you agree with that, then we can
simply define teaching as making/helping students to learn. There is no
other value to teaching than making/helping students to learn. In such a case:

teaching <=> making/helping students learn.

What are the connotation of the right side? Making suggests that we
sometimes need to force the students to learn (I'll make you do it).
Helping suggests that we should do what helps the students to learn,
explain it in a "from the students perspective" way, that we are centering
on what helps students, etc. In short, all proper contact words.

What are the connotations of the word "teach"? I'm not a native speaker of
English so it's harder for me to come up with connotations, but the basic
connotation that comes up to my mind is that soft... teeeeching.

In short, the phrase "making and/or helping students to learn" (one word
for "making and/or helping" would be still better) is more suitable to talk
about than word "teaching". Don't you agree?!

So, maybe, "helping/making students learn" is more appropriate phrase to
use than word "teaching"? It better describes the actual value of what we
do in the classrooms. Don't be surprised when some language identifies
those two.

Maybe our K-12 education would benefit if word "learning" were used more
often than word "teaching". Maybe then our minds will be directed in a
more proper direction.

Kazimierz


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