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Just giving facts to people and trying to get them to remember them, is straight out mindless and a complete waste of time. The key is to know how to make the story of this information connect with the story of a similar set of information in the student.
Students just love the teachers who are funny and have a great story to tell – why is that? You may think it is because students like to be entertained, but the reality is that it is far more about the fact that a story told has a key point to make. The key point to make is full of information of value, and when the teacher can connect this information to the student through this story, the insight felt by the student concerning all this presented information – is the final point of understanding.
Logic is important, particularly if you are presenting something technical. Yes, I agree there are some points that simply do need to be remembered, but for the teacher to make sure it is remembered it needs to be stapled down to the floor with some real anecdote to show the ramifications of the logic.
So often a story’s most critical point is that the final moment actually is not logical. This is even more interesting again, as it highlights that we don’t just live in a linear world of a+b=c, we live in a world of humanness. The illogical element of that finale moment should (if the story has been told properly), make complete sense to the listener, no matter how illogical it may appear when standing alone.
Most concepts, particularly at higher levels of learning, revolve totally around this phenomena. Usually there are plenty of situations that can be presented that show how this illogical point is true. If you are studying to be an engineer, you may ask the question – how can that building actually stand? It looks completely awkward and unstable, yet if you understand the fundamental principle of the physics involved in the way it has been constructed, you will see just how safe it really is.
The world of stories is usually the world of the great teacher. They are the ones who can share a complex moment and let it resonate with the student’s own experience also.
At the heart of every great story told is empathy. If the teacher is able to get the student to feel a kind of empathy with the situation or people involved with the story – the message has been correctly passed on.
Great teachers are really the great story tellers. It maybe in a technical way or even a more theatrical way, but whichever way that teacher does it – for sure the students will learn.
Thanks goodness also, future learning will never change this principle. It will be the most important part of the great teacher that no robot will take over. Teachers today who work on building this aspect will be secure in their job forever.