This quote by Mortimer J. Adler was taken from the book, A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille. For me it serves as a great reminder of my role in this process of education. It is to be like the farmer and ensure the best growing conditions for the student. In turn, they become the farmers nurturing themselves, each other, and us.
“Teaching like farming and healing, is a cooperative art. Understanding this, Comenius in The Great Didactic again and again compares the cultivation of the mind with the cultivation of the field; so, too, Plato compares the teacher’s art with the physician’s.”
“…only when teachers realize that the principal cause of learning that occurs in a student is the activity of the student’s own mind do they assume the role of the cooperative artists. While the activity of the learner’s mind is the principal cause of all learning, it is not the sole cause. Here the teacher steps in as a secondary and cooperative cause.”
“Like the farmer and the physician, the teacher must be sensitive to the natural process that his art should help bring to its fullest fruition – the natural process of learning. It is the nature of human learning that determines the strategy and the tactics of teaching.”
– Mortimer J. Adler