Aha moments

From Friday Mailing:

From Ed Sanders (Richard Cooke says these are ‘ reflections on his practice as a university teacher. As well as being an outstanding NT scholar himself, Sanders has also produced a rich crop of graduate students – the quote below may show why!’)

“I think that the greatest moment in a teacher’s life is seeing a student have an “ah ha” moment by his or her own endeavor. The instructor’s clever or even memorable phrasing is worth much less. I began my career by overestimating students: I did not realize how much they needed repetition and the practice of describing texts and ideas in their own words. The more patient I was, and the harder I worked at getting them to see things for themselves—rather than offering my own glib solutions of difficulties—the better I was at teaching and the more rewarding I found the activity. The hardest thing to do—at which I often failed in my early years—is to find the students’ own level.”

The whole thing is at http://www.duke.edu/web/gradreligion/documents/GPRnewsfall2008.pdf.

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