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“Good teaching cannot be equated with technique. It comes from the integrity of the teacher”  – Parker Palmer

If you are active in the search of your own philosophy of the teaching-learning process and wonder about the art of creating holding environments for your learners, read this piece written some 150 years ago. I find it refreshingly current.

A Point of View on Teaching by Soren Kierkegaard, The Journal, 1864

“… if real success is to attend the effort to bring a man to a definite position, one must first of all take pains to find HIM where he is and begin there.

This is the secret of the art of helping others. Anyone who has not mastered this is himself deluded when he proposes to help others. In order to help another effectively, I must understand what he understands.

If I do not know that, my greater understanding will be of no help to him. If, however, I am disposed to plume myself on my greater understanding, it is because I am vain or proud, so that at bottom, instead of benefitting him, I want to be admired. But all true effort to help does not mean to be a sovereign but to be a servant, that to help does not mean to endure for the time being the imputation that one is in the wrong and does not understand what the other understands . . .

For to be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so, or to deliver a lecture, etc. No, to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner, put yourself in his place so that you may understand what he understands and in the way he understands it .”

What would be possible for your organization if learning were to be of this quality?