Joseph Joubert on Teaching & Learning


What he said:

« Enseigner c’est apprendre deux fois » (“To teach is to learn twice”)

What I think

I think of teaching as a sort of “learning out loud.” When you prepare to teach a course you must master the material on l well enough to be able to present it clearly and simply. That’s the easy part. The challenge is to stimulate and foster learning. Get students excited. There’s reciprocity here. Teachers learn from students all the while the students are learning from them. It’s probably the greatest perk of teaching

Below is what I would say to someone asking about the long-term value of education.

There is no more noble, challenging, or rewarding journey than that upon which you embark in pursuit of an education. Learning brings freedom. In some ways your education is the only thing you will ever truly own. No one can take from you the knowledge, skills, and creations of the mind made possible by a lifetime commitment to learning. These creations of the mind will amuse you when you’re bored, console you when you’re down, and give you confidence when you falter.

We are each of us architects of our own education. All learning is ultimately self-learning. SELF-learning both because we must do it ourselves and because through the process we will learn a great deal about ourselves. (Re) read my April 3 post in which I assert you cannot give yourself away – to spouses, children, friends, and lovers – unless you OWN yourself. I assert here that your education is the only thing you will ever really own.

Combining these points of view I think raises questions about whether failure to educate oneself potentially leads to isolation and lack of fulfillment.

What do you think?

*Joseph Joubert (1754 -1824) A French moralist and essayist best known for his Pensées

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