Great Teachers Making Their Point

The thing about Hallmark cards is that they are too obvious in their intent. To say something profound in such a way that the auditor actually hears it, you cannot say it obviously. If you do, you reduce it to a mere analytical statement, a statement on which they can probably act – but the action won’t require an actual understanding.

Some people take offense at this idea. They are straight talkers, they say, and I honor that. But straight talk can only take you so far if you are a teacher. Sometimes you have to use misdirection, not to manipulate but to ensure that the student is doing his own thinking. You can’t understand something any other way. That is why, after all, our Lord used parables and it is why every great teacher in the history of the world has always used statements that are not obvious. Sometimes they even deliberately contradict themselves so the student has to deal with the tension that creates.

Teacher’s must make their point clearly.


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