18 November 2012

Confucius as the Best Coach - Personalized Teaching

We all know that Confucius is a great teacher. Chinese has given him the title of "万世师表" translated as "The Model Teacher of All Generations".  I think he is great for two things, the content and his method of teaching. To be an effective teacher, we must master the two things, the content and the method of teaching (pedagogy) . Within pedagogy, the key, very often missing, is a good understanding of the character and learning attributes of the students.

The Best Teacher is a Coach
Coach is one that does these two things well, understanding the student and then using the right methods to convey the right content to the student. Hence,I use coach instead of teacher because coach is personalized tailored teaching. Actually, a good teacher should be the best coach. He/she teaches according to the capability and character of the student. This is best illustrated by the following text:

因人施教 Teach According to the Person's characteristics

论语 11.22 子路问:“闻斯行诸?”


ZiLu asked "Shall we do what we heard immediately?"
Confucius said, "You have father and brother, how can you just do what you heard?" (i.e. consult your elders first).
RanYou asked, "Shall we do what we heard immediately?"
Confucius said,"Yes. Quickly do what you heard。“
KongXiHua asked Confucius, "why different answers for the same question?"
Confucius said that RanYou was hesitant all the time and hence encouraged him to take action whereas ZiLu was impulsive and hence I restricted him.

So, when you read the great quotations from famous people, do watch out that it may not be applicable to all people in all situation.

Wisdom is understanding this simple truth, "It depends" and know how to apply the right principle to the right person in the right situation.

It is not that simple else everyone will be wise already.

See also

Lim Liat (c) 18 Nov 2012

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