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April 16th, 2020
It’s one thing to see a teacher do something and then just repeat the exact same thing. But this is just an instance of monkey see, monkey do. It often requires no understanding to mimic. It’s quite another to see a teacher do something and immediately apply it to a novel case.
The best teachers attack this lack of understanding in the student by demonstrating how something works in different contexts. But even with this, a student might not understand, and merely have the ability to mimic three different things.
We only really learn by doing, and more importantly, we can’t prove to ourselves that we understand until we see that skill or technique or process applied anew.
Attempting to apply something in a new way is the fastest way to figure out just what you do and don’t understand about a topic. We test the mind’s talk by walking.
Again, however, getting something to work in a novel way might just be luck. We’ve all had the experience say with some app, or program, or tool, or toy when it seems to work the first time, but then when we show it off to a friend or try to teach another, suddenly it doesn’t work in the same way.
Just as the good teacher tries to display the lesson in a few different ways, the good student fools around with the idea, flexing and stretching it like a new muscle to see if it responds correctly.
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