Another dot in the blogosphere?

Did you teach?

Posted on: October 28, 2017

If a teacher taught, but the student did not learn, did the teacher really teach? That was my reading of the tweet below.

This is like the oft-quote line in Philosophy 101: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, did it really fall?

Some might argue that the tree fell whether anyone was there to take note. The same people might say that the teacher went through the motions of teaching and therefore taught. However, there is greater accountability in the case of teaching. We want to know if the student learnt.

Tweets tend to be flat because of the character limit. A more important issue is the extent of learning by both teacher and student.

For example, did the teacher learn something about that student? Did the teacher discover a better way to teach?

In the case of the student, was the learning only for the short term? For example, did the student seem to learn today only to forget tomorrow? This superficial learning is a common strategy that results from teaching to the test. I call this strategy GIGO — garbage in, garbage out.

Was the student learning over the long term instead? What this learning and its impact so long term that the teacher cannot be there to see the tree bear fruit?

Once again, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it, did it really fall? If a teacher teaches and no one determines if the student learnt, did the student really learn?


1 Response to "Did you teach?"

Tan Lay Peng: Did you teach?… via


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