THE CLASSROOM AND THE COMPUTER SCREEN Online Education - Page 7

and correction the others receive from teacher and student. Of course, an the teacher. Quintilian nicely brought education could lack such qualities for these points together when he reasons other than the communication explained why fellowship induces medium. Often poor teachers are to healthy ambition: blame—teachers who lack either a Further, at home he can only learn what is taught to himself, while at school he will learn what is taught others as well. He will hear many merits praised and many faults corrected every day: he will derive equal profit from hearing the indolence of a comrade rebuked or his industry commended. Such praise will incite him to emulation, he will think it a disgrace to be outdone by his contemporaries and a distinction to surpass his seniors. All such incentives provide a valuable stimulus, and though ambition may be a fault in itself, it is often the mother of virtues. 6 capacity for sympathy or the imagination to design effective lessons. Too many brick-and-mortar classrooms are sites of poor education simply because teachers fail to utilize the pedagogical opportunities at their disposal. Another culprit that curtails sympathy and fellowship might be an oppressive regime of badly-crafted regulations that hem in a teacher’s freedom to practice his craft. Administrators, school boards, government officials and legislatures often overregulate today’s classrooms and hinder the very education they purport to serve. Administrators who choose the path of least resistance This principle of fellowship, like the would rather change out textbooks, principle of sympathy, is fundamental scopes and sequences, and rubrics, to effective education. instead of mentoring and correcting The best learning environment is weak classroom teachers. They prefer one that supports these two principles: neat and tidy curricular change fellowship among students, and a because it is largely impersonal, and sympathetic relationship between remain averse to managing teachers 6 Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, I.ii.18- 22. 7