Quotes on Teaching

Stephen Nachmanovich, author of Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art:

If the art is created with the whole person, then the work will come out whole. Education must teach, reach, and vibrate the whole person rather than merely transfer knowledge.

Alice Hamachek:

Consciously, we teach what we know; unconsciously, we teach who we are.

Joan Walton, from her article The Art and Science of Teaching/Learning Dance:

Finally, the most important immediate outcome . . . To help dancers learn in as many ways as possible, and to make teachers fluent in as many teaching languages as possible, including those visible and invisible ways of communicating things like care, concern, humor, warmth and love for the art, not only for the art of dance but the art of teaching, and the desire to pass these things on to other people by teaching them to dance, or at least for an hour, giving them wings to fly.

Stephen Nachmanovitch, author of Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art:

To educe means to draw out or evoke that which is latent: education then means drawing out the person’s latent capacities for understanding and living, not stuffing a (passive) person full of preconceived knowledge.

Mahatma Gandhi:

Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected.

Richard Powers, from his article Teaching Tips:

Authenticity is the source of true authority.  Your credibility is directly correlated to the audience perception that you’re genuine.  Some teachers fall short because they attempt to project an image of something which they are not.  What you are always communicates more powerfully than what you say.

Alexandra K. Trenfor:

The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.

Joan Walton, from her article The Art and Science of Teaching/Learning Dance:

I once thought teaching and learning was like a dance with a leader and a follower, where one person had all the information and transferred it to the other empty vessel. I now know that it is more like a dual feedback loop, in which both people or groups of people are constantly giving and receiving information, creating a unique learning situation that changes moment by moment. On one level, for the teacher the incoming information is observable, concrete data that triggers a predictable, concrete, outgoing response: ‘Wrong foot.’ But there is another layer of incoming and outgoing information that is difficult to pin down, observe and discuss, but which nonetheless exists… I call it Intuitive Teaching.

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