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I think 1 on 1 instruction is the highest form of education.
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Desu Offline
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Post: #1
I think 1 on 1 instruction is the highest form of education.

There's quite a few famous figures in history that received personalized instruction. This wasn't always formal sessions or going to a classroom, like starting from lesson 1 and moving in a linear fashion. Formal tutors were expensive and so this was for wealthy people. Some people started somewhat at the bottom, and so they had a friend-like figure who saw potential in them and worked with them to develop their knowledge and skills.

One of my conversation partners in Japan has a 13 year old that was struggling/failing in English class. I started teaching her about 6 months ago, and I'm amazed at how fast her English progressed (and how fast my Japanese progressed while working with her), doing very informal sessions on Skype. We just chat, and we're basically friends.

In the beginning, I tried doing lessons with her, but I sucked at it lol. I would try to give her structured grammar lessons but I'm not a teacher and I don't know any "methods". So I ended up going over her homework and tests and just talking to her about anything. After only 6 months, her English has improved so much, I wouldn't be surprised if she had the best English in her grade.

We just informally talk to each other now and I don't even try to teach her anything. She'll ask me a question, leave me a message on Skype whatever. She loves English now when she used to hate it, and wants to learn Spanish once her English becomes more fluent (her mom is learning Spanish and she wants to learn with her).

What happened was that I allowed her to control her own education in an organic way. Over time, I stopped trying to teach her, instead I opened the door and let her walk in when she was ready. Now we both learn from each other, and it's extremely effective.

I'm not her teacher or her tutor. I'm one of her friends that knows something she doesn't, and I give her some of that knowledge when she needs it.

In some kind of utopian society, all people would be mentors and friends that sought knowledge together.

Btw, coming from someone who has struggled to learn Japanese since high school. Language education in schools is completely useless. It's honestly laughable and sad how bad it is.

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05-26-2014 01:05 PM
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brainiac3397 Offline
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Post: #2
I think 1 on 1 instruction is the highest form of education.

Well it depends.

In the past, "education" fit into 1 neat category. A scientist was a mathematician was a poet was a historian.

But even if there is multiple specialized categories(that will probably require a person for each one), 1 on 1 is superior due to the fact that the instructor and instructed can create the best system between them since there is no one else involved.

But like in history, such a method is expensive(the "famous" figures were also from a very powerful or wealthy background). It's also impractical on a wide scale because those who need instruction far outnumber those who are qualified to give it.

Seeking knowledge from friends and mentors isn't always a great idea. Today we have the internet that does the same thing. But we all know that not everything on the internet is a fact or accurate. The same would still apply to friends and mentors(unless the friend or mentor was well-educated in that area).

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05-26-2014 01:21 PM
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Desu Offline
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Post: #3
I think 1 on 1 instruction is the highest form of education.

I'm assuming the mentor is knowledgeable. The internet only goes so far, and it can be incredibly shitty without proper guidance. It's helpful to have a real person you personally know, who is an expert of some kind that can guide you over a long period of time.

The reason why seeking knowledge from friends isn't always a good idea is due to the type of culture we live in and the social norms that govern it. We live in a culture that doesn't value knowledge for knowledge's sake, and frankly, nobody knows how to learn effectively, because it's never taught in schools. People are mostly too busy going to work or worrying about personal problems to give a fuck.

Such a method doesn't have to be expensive, and it wasn't always expensive. There are people who are lucky enough to come across someone who teaches them without asking for much in return, if anything... I've taught this girl and asked for nothing in return. Although, she has greatly improved my Japanese, I got that for free, she got English instruction for free.

Self-instruction is possible, and even more effective than having a teacher in some cases, but that "teacher" is usually in a classroom setting. In my opinion, self-instruction with a guide to keep you on track is the best possible educational setting.

Quote:In the past, "education" fit into 1 neat category. A scientist was a mathematician was a poet was a historian.

Not sure if I understand what you mean here.

Education used to far more broad because we simply didn't have as much knowledge about the world. It's a lot less practical to be a jack-of-all-trades in the type of economy and culture we live in today. For most people, they need to on 1 thing, then branch out from there.

Btw, apprenticeships used to be extremely common, and not restricted to the wealthy. But that eventually died out and was replaced by school classes, certifications, and on-the-job training.

RIP GORE GOROTH

He was an hero. He will always be remembered.
05-26-2014 02:17 PM
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xcriteria Offline
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Post: #4
I think 1 on 1 instruction is the highest form of education.

Not sure how I missed this thread... but it's worth more attention than it's had.

This is a good example of what people are calling "connected learning" -- learning that occurs beyond the traditional, rigid, "don't look outside" version of school. Often, this means learning through conversation.

(05-26-2014 01:05 PM)Desu Wrote:  One of my conversation partners in Japan has a 13 year old that was struggling/failing in English class. I started teaching her about 6 months ago, and I'm amazed at how fast her English progressed (and how fast my Japanese progressed while working with her), doing very informal sessions on Skype. We just chat, and we're basically friends.

This actually reminds me of the many people of that age come to School Survival, often struggling/failing in various subjects, or simply looking to learn in general. I wonder... how could this site evolve into something that facilitates such interactions?

(05-26-2014 01:05 PM)Desu Wrote:  In the beginning, I tried doing lessons with her, but I sucked at it lol. I would try to give her structured grammar lessons but I'm not a teacher and I don't know any "methods". So I ended up going over her homework and tests and just talking to her about anything. After only 6 months, her English has improved so much, I wouldn't be surprised if she had the best English in her grade.

We just informally talk to each other now and I don't even try to teach her anything. She'll ask me a question, leave me a message on Skype whatever. She loves English now when she used to hate it, and wants to learn Spanish once her English becomes more fluent (her mom is learning Spanish and she wants to learn with her).

What happened was that I allowed her to control her own education in an organic way. Over time, I stopped trying to teach her, instead I opened the door and let her walk in when she was ready. Now we both learn from each other, and it's extremely effective.

I'm not her teacher or her tutor. I'm one of her friends that knows something she doesn't, and I give her some of that knowledge when she needs it.

That's exactly the kind of interaction that rarely occurs in school-as-usual, and even within families. I actually have similar experiences interacting with mentors-friends who happen to be older than me over the past couple years, and those who happen to be younger than me more over the past <1 year. And I think there's a lot to be said for such conversational learning... especially with the right mix of people involved in conversations.

(05-26-2014 01:05 PM)Desu Wrote:  In some kind of utopian society, all people would be mentors and friends that sought knowledge together.

There's quite a bit of consensus among those who want to change education that classroom-manager, single-subject "teachers" are not the way most learning works best... and that more mentorship-like interactions have a lot of value. That said, I do think there's a role for people to learn about cognition, learning science, experience design, and specialize in doing more effective learning-oriented mentorship... but that doesn't have to be restricted to a one-way kind of interaction.

(05-26-2014 01:05 PM)Desu Wrote:  Btw, coming from someone who has struggled to learn Japanese since high school. Language education in schools is completely useless. It's honestly laughable and sad how bad it is.

That's been the case in my experience in school... though I think there are likely teachers out there who do a better job than many of us have experienced. Still, the value of learning to converse in a more casual way is worth taking note of, and putting into practice in more cases.

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