Teaching without Pretension

The best teachers are those who make the fewest pretensions.

If the students are on all fours with a difficult problem, the teacher who shows that he is only crawling also, helps them much more than the pedagogue who appears to fly in magnificent circles far above their heads.

Perhaps, if we as teachers were more honest about our own reading disabilities, less loath to reveal how hard it is for us to read and how often we fumble, we might get the students interested in the game of learning instead of the game of passing.
—Mortimer Adler, How to Read a Book: The Art of Getting a Liberal Education, 13.

This quotation is from the 1940 edition. In the 1972 revision, chapter one addressed "to the average" reader was left out. I guess us average readers will still have to hunt down the older edition if we want to learn how to "read a book."

June 23, 2010


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