Re: RSA question
Date: 08/11/05

Date: 11 Aug 2005 03:41:00 -0700

Regis wrote:
> On 10 Aug 2005 19:50:31 -0700, wrote:
> >Perhaps you are much younger than I, but we used card files and the
> >dewey decimal system. Even at a young age of six we had to find
> >information in encyclopedias [which were slowly moving to the exciting
> >world of CD-ROM based texts by that time].
> You use encyclopedias when doing research on something that would not
> otherwise be taught in class, or if you want to research something to
> a greater degree than would be taught in class.

I was simply disputing the fact that "all knowledge is just told".
That's not true.

> >We had math texts that we had to read either on our own or in groups in
> >class. I don't know what schools you went to but knowledge was seldom
> >"handed down". We either read along or had to do homework.
> If you bothered to actually read my post, you'd see that I
> specifically said that you learn by working out problems and
> assignments in class and in your homework.
> But before you can do that, you first have to have the knowledge.
> That knowledge is, in fact, "handed down" to you by your teachers.

It's not simply "told" though. A good teacher uses a variety of
methods that prompts the student to come to the same [or if lucky a
better] conclusion.

Some things are just taken for granted like the solutions to quadratic
equations [in younger grades] but most lessons are totally

> A surgeon doesn't become a surgeon all on his own by reading books or
> encyclopedias. Neither does a car mechanic. Neither does an
> architect.

Surgery requires a fair degree of pure talent and ability that doesn't
come from anyone else. That's why you are supervised your first
year(s) as a doctor.

They can tell you where, how deep and long to cut but you're the one
with the knife making the potentially scaring damage. That takes
talent and technique.

> If learning wasn't "handed down", then we wouldn't have teachers in
> the classrooms. We would be telling our kids to go hang out in
> libraries and acquire all their knowledge by reading on their own.
> You can imagine how our kids would be turning out...

A teachers role is not to be the source of the information. I don't
know where you got that idea but you're sadly mistaken. A teacher is a
guide to give the students who are academically lost direction to be
able to learn.

You have to know what you don't know before you know you have to learn

For some lessons that may involve "here's the solution, now let's
figure it out" but for many others it's the opposite. I agree it's
slightly different in less scientific classes [e.g. social science,
art, whatever]. But even my English classes involved the students
talking their minds most of the time.

However, for science related classes the "do what I do" method of
teaching is hardly appropriate.


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