A quote attributed to Galileo goes like this, “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” We only learn what we are receptive to learning. Basically, we learn what we want to learn. I heard a story about Benjamin Franklin. You can read it for yourself here. Basically though, he wrote down a list of 12 virtues he wanted to master during his sojourn in this world. His friend advised him that maybe he should consider a 13th virtue – humility. Ben wrote it down as part of his list. Near the end of his life, he considered his list written years prior. He felt he had succeeded in learning 12 out of 13 of the virtues. His only fail? Humility. He never had ownership of that last suggestion. It was not personal to him. He didn’t feel it as deeply as he felt the need for the other twelve. In short, his motivation was lacking to master that 13th virtue.
If we want to learn something we need it to be personal. If we want to teach something we need to help students find the personal connection.
by Elder Ulisses Soares