Two ways of viewing work and educational practice

Tthere are two ways of viewing work:

  • Work is something you have to do, like it or not, to make money that will allow you not onlt to sustain yourself but also, and most importantly, do the things you really enjoy doing;
  • There are many things you really enjoy doing, and the best way to work is by getting people to pay you to do the things you would do anyway, even without pay.

Running the risk of oversimplifying the issue, I believe that there are two alternative, competing ways of viewing educational practice that are somehow analogous to these two ways of viewing work:

  • There are many things (information, knowledge, values, attitudes, skills, competencies) that you have to learn, like it or not, and the function of the teacher is to present these things to you and (in the case of teachers considered good) to look for ways of motivating you to learn them by trying to make learning them either fun and interesting or otherwise rewarding;
  • There are many things that you are interested in doing, and the function of the teacher is to find ways to get you to learn important things (competencies, skills, information, knowledge, values, attitudes) while you are doing the things in which you are interested.

Over Great Falls, Montana (United flight 755, from Chicago to Seattle), on the 11th of March of 2008, 8:00 Pacific Daylight Savings Time

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