Recently, the following in depth and informative exchangef (perhaps the best in years on the internet) took place between B. Becker and Lou Talman:
B. Becker wrote:
I fear the reliance upon new fangled contraptions like multi media is a lazy way out for both teacher and student to say that they covered a topic, without really exploring it in depth and with intellectual rigor.
Does this mean that because "new fangled contraptions" are subject to misuse, we shouldn't use them at all? Old fangled contraptions suffer from the same drawback, and we've used them pretty well...
To which eye sez to Lou: "No, we should not rely upon contraptions of any sort at the heart of the educational process. It's sort of like psychoanalysis. There are many different schools of thought and, as a result, practitioners with different views. And yet it seems that it is the relationship between patient and practitioner, rather than the school of thought practiced by the practitioner, which determines the success or failure of the therapeautic endeavor.
So too, I think, it is not the specific educational "contraption" which determines the success or failure of the teacher. It is instead the native ability of the teacher to accomplish that intuitively knowable (but impossible to replicate in the form of different new or old fangled educational teaching methods) ability to TEACH his or her students. This requires human interaction in ways that we have all probably experienced from time to time. However, if it ain't there on either end (and it does take a somewhat gifted and inspired teacher as well as a pupil WILLING to take responsility to consider the gift being bestowed upon them by the teacher) then no amount of contraptions, computers, bells, whistles or multi media presentations will make up for that basic lack.
So, I believe that no matter the educational method, the educational endeavor fails unless you have both gifted teachers and youngsters raised and acculturated in a society in such a way to be responsible enough to take the gift their teachers have to offer.