Re: Academic focus

Subject: Re: Academic focus
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 10:19:53 -0800

Bill Swallow wrote:

> Yeah, me. I was taught very ineffective methods of
> document design and other processes in the past, and I
> regret having ever been taught them. In some cases
> these ineffective methodologies were easy to
> "unlearn", but in other cases, it was damn hard to
> change the way I did things. Example: I was taught a
> specific way to approaching a documentation task in
> college. I'm not saying that what I was taught is
> wrong, but on the job I learned a better way of doing
> things.

I taught seven years at universities and colleges. Although I
started out very idealistic, I soon realized that effective teaching
required more than an enthusiastic instructor. To get the most out
of a class, students have to be ready to learn. A good teacher can
help inspire students to learn, but most of the inspiration has to
come from the students themselves. Unfortunately, for a number of
complicated reasons (mostly involving the view of education as
job-training), it is perfectly possible to get through even a
masters' or a doctorate without having learned anything about
original thought. A poor or discouraged teacher - or one who got
through on rote learning themselves - tends to perpetuate this kind
of mediocrity.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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