I went to a super-awesome conference in Dallas a few weeks ago. There, I met with many teachers, both of high school and at the college level. In fact, for a portion of each day I was cordoned off in a room with many of them.
To be clear, I’m not a teacher. I work with them, but I am totally not one. I’m actually a student (still… FOREVER!!) and my thoughts about how teachers conduct themselves often come from that angle.
Incredibly long story short – I suggested that in a class like math, it’s useful to not only have the “rules” (eg: triangle = 180*), which the instructor I was chatting with advocated, but also some tie to the real world (eg: where triangles exists, why knowing angles matters, etc…), aka practical application.
That kind of thing helps me remember stuff. I’m not alone in that, either.
So the guy scoffed at me because “now we are talking about wasting time on abstractions.”
This is what is infinitely frustrating about working with “experts” (I’ll not confine it to school people, I’ve worked in other jobs where this exists). At some point, they get so deep into their own area of specialty that their version of reality becomes warped.
In this guy’s case, it was so badly warped that classroom theory is concrete and real life application is abstract.
The rest of the conference was better. I just couldn’t get over that exchange. It is literally haunting me. How do you DEAL with that?