Learning Vista — and Everything Else!

Whew! This Vista! Every time that I try to type, something new takes place. I accidentally hit one thing or another (don’t ask what) and I find myself in an entirely different world! Then, I have to extricate myself from that world into the one I was in before—if I can find it. Usually, in order to do so, I have to learn something new about this operating system that appears to have an infinite number of options (I know It’s really finite; but so am I—probably more so!)

Having to learn the hard way has one advantage: if you really learn it, you’ll hardly ever forget it. So, I’m learning two things as I write these blogs—something I didn’t know before about the computer, and patience! (Didn’t I write about that somewhere?)

Learning is interesting. At Johns Hopkins University, which I attended, we once had a teacher say at the outset of his course, “I don’t care if you learn anything or not. My job is to put it out there for you, and the rest is up to you.” Hmmm. What do you think of that statement?

I can tell you, we did have to get it on your own-he didn’t go to any extra trouble to see that we learned it!
Actually, I found it both good and bad-good, in that you were forced to do the work yourself, and learn more than facts along the way. But not everyone did. Bad, in that if you didn’t get it—too bad!

Now, I have studied the New Testament and Old Testament terms for learning (see my books, Back to the Blackboard and Teaching to Observe for more information) and can tell you one thing about them-they all stress making the information known (“causing to learn”). The attitude expressed by the teacher ought never be heard in Christian schools—of any level. Christian teachers have an obligation not only to lay the truth out before you, but to see that you “get it.” That is a tremendous difference.

“But then, will you ever discover how to learn on your own?”

Sure. That’s a process that teachers also ought to embed in every student. There are ways to do both. If you teach, you must learn both!

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