Classroom teaching withholds nothing. I say to my young students every year, “I know how to add two numbers, but I’m not going to tell you.” And they laugh and shout, “No!” That’s so absurd, so unthinkable. What do I have that I would not give to you?Bringing nothing, producing nothing, expecting nothing, withholding nothing — what does that remind you of? Is this a bizarre occurrence that will go into The Journal of Irreproducible Results? Or is it something that happens every day, all the time, all over the world,and is based not on gain and fame, but on love.
you cannot be friends either with boy or man unless you give yourself away in the process, and Mr. Pembroke did not commend this. He, for “personal intercourse,” substituted the safer “personal influence,” and gave his junior hints on the setting of kindly traps, in which the boy does give himself away and reveals his shy delicate thoughts, while the master, intact, commends or corrects them.Originally Rickie had meant to help boys in the anxieties that they undergo when changing into men: at Cambridge he had numbered this among life’s duties. But here is a subject in which we mustinevitably speak as one human being to another, not as one who has authority or the shadow of authority, and for this reason the elder school-master could suggest nothing but a few formulae. Formulae, like kindly traps, were not in Rickie’s line, so he abandoned thesesubjects altogether and confined himself to working hard at what was easy.
Every day the same things came up; the work was never done, and the tedium of it began to weigh on me. Part of what made English a difficult subject for Korean students was the lack of a more active principle in their learning. They were accustomed to receiving, recording, and memorizing. That's the Confucian mode. As a student, you're not supposed to question a teacher; you should avoid asking for explanations because that might reveal a lack of knowledge, which can be seen as an insult to the teacher's efforts. You don't have an open, free exchange with teachers as we often have here in the West. And further, under this design, a student doesn't do much in the way of improvisation or interpretation.This approach might work well for some pursuits, may even be preferred--indeed, I was often amazed by the way Koreans learned crafts and skills, everything from basketball to calligraphy, for example, by methodically studying and reproducing a defined set of steps (a BBC report explained how the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had his minions rigorously study the pizza-making techniques used by Italian chefs so that he could get a good pie at home, even as thousands of his subjects starved)--but foreign-language learning, the actual speaking component most of all, has to be more spontaneous and less rigid.We all saw this played out before our eyes and quickly discerned the problem. A student cannot hope to sit in a class and have a language handed over to him on sheets of paper.