As teacher, I often tramp the journey. Most of the way, I learn more than I teach, which is fortunate as I’m bored easily.
Even the well trodden-paths bear fruit. But I have to be more aware when pacing there; vigilant, else I miss what is to be learnt.
As teacher, most of what I learn on the well-tramped lanes happens as I watch others less familiar with the paths. This learning is the most enlightening, yet so difficult to pass on to others.
I’ve begun to understand why.
As teacher, all learning is a journey. How can a learner explain the destinations to someone who has never been there and seen what they’re like? There is often no measure to compare, no gradation to gauge against, and no foundation to build upon.
And so learning, once accumulated, is not necessarily always useful. At least, not as useful as we might think it should be. And so it is that the adage of teachers ‘filling jugs’ doesn’t really work, no more than their teaching does.
Johnstone’s Information Processing Model, a simplified version which heads this post, suggests that there is a real need to tread the ways often. It implies that learners may not be wholly aware of what’s to be learnt on the way, nor of its significance even if they were.
It also reinforces that perhaps filling jugs doesn’t work so smoothly, that much is spilt in the process – that many approaches may have to be tried before the jugs contain anything useful at all.