knowing where to look

C a r l   R o g e r s   s a i d :  

 ”   T h e   b a s i c   i d e a   b e h i n d   t e a c h i n g   i s   t o   t e a c h   p e o p l e   w h a t   t h e y   n e e d   to   k n o w . ” 
Every time I see this on Teacher Dance blog, I am reminded of my mother telling me that  an education was the ability to know where to look for what you need to know. She taught fourth grade and was insistent that everyone should have access to a library and an encyclopedia. She sent the World Book to me when my oldest, Amelia, was in fourth grade. I still have it and, yes, we still use it as long as it happened before 1963.
Dinner time conversations with our four kids when they were small often led to looking up something. I recall a time when Bill asked me a question and I suggested he ask his dad. “I don’t want to. He will make me get the encyclopedia and it will take forever. I just want a quick answer.”
He was right in the taking forever. I remember the times a comment or question led to a copy of that blue book on the table, and long after the plates were cleared, dishes taken care of, and sometimes the kids had gone to bed, Sea would be turning the pages of the encyclopedia researching something totally unrelated to the original question, but it was on the next page or the next or the next. (Or was he avoiding helping with the dishes?)
It is so easy today to get those answers with computers readily available. Yesterday I asked Sea if he was Dopey, or Grumpy or Doc when he got up in the morning…. or one of the others… now what were they? Presto-Google—and we have Sleepy, Bashful and…. now what were the others?
If you need to know, it is a lot easier than the encyclopedia… 1963 edition on that high shelf, or going to the library, or asking Dad.
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2 Responses to knowing where to look

  1. Linda Baie says:

    I wonder if you are disagreeing with my quote, or that you understand what you just explained is what I think the quote means. Our school, and my philosophy is to teach students what they need to know in order to do what they want to do. It’s just as basic as learning to use the right book, like the encyclopedia, or to interview the right person and learn from that person. I grew up looking for answers in a World Book too, & learned much more because I then began to browse, a seeming lost art with the quick internet, I agree. Sorry if you think I give out all the answers, Fran.

    • otterlanding says:

      @Linda I don’t disagree. It is possible her quote was the same as yours, and mine is an interpretation of what I think she said. In the end we all have to take the time to find out the answers….and, as teachers, help others to find their answers.

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