Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Teaching judgment,persistence, determination to succeed
How do you teach concepts such as judgment, or persistence, or determination to succeed?
I believe you don’t teach concepts, you teach practice. (By the way this is true in physics education, too. You learn how to do physics.)
There is character and there is encouraging character. In my experience the way you teach judgment or persistence or determination to succeed is by many examples and cases. We model ourselves on others, albeit not all others are appropriate for each of us. I learned to be the professor and scholar and writer I am from my teachers, and only in some ways can I exhibit their qualities of judgment or persistence or determination, but their models are my northstar. If I hadn’t had those sorts of teachers, it’s not so likely I would have done what I have done.
I have been fortunate over the years to encounter some of the strongest scholars in the world, in a wide range of fields. It’s made a big difference.
What the Army in setting up its School of Advanced Military Studies in the 80s did was change the character of the environment, the kinds of discussion and questions that were acceptable, and also teach these officers much about strategy—not just Clausewitz but much more. It created a cadre of very different officers.