Thursday, August 01, 2013

A Thought Experiment - the Able Teaching the Less Able

Imagine for a moment, you are required by your boss to attend a workshop for training purposes.  Unfortunately, the workshop topic is something you already know a lot about, maybe even more than the person teaching the workshop.  The instructor breaks the whole group into smaller groups to work on part of the topic.  No one in your group understands the topic very well, so you spend a lot of time showing them how to do it.  Some of them get it, but it takes so long to explain it to a few of them that you get a bit frustrated.  You could be spending your time actually doing your work, rather than wasting it this way.  In fact, you are a bit resentful that the instructor is getting paid a lot to teach this workshop and you have to pretend to be patient with it for the whole DAY.  What a waste!

Now, imagine that you had to do this EVERY DAY, probably for the next dozen years.  And add to that that you are a person who thrives on challenge, a person who craves complexity, depth, exploration. 

And now imagine how a gifted child feels when s/he is asked to help the slower kids in the class.  Occasionally, it can be fun.  Sometimes, it helps you understand the topic better.  But as a daily routine it is excruciatingly painful.  

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