Teaching: art or science?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by GTB4GT, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    143

    Apr 12, 2015

    I have been reading some things about this topic online and wanted to hear from my colleagues on this topic.

    Question: If you were to handpick the best teachers by grade/subject area (how to do that is another topic) and had them teach their methods to others, would the trainees be able to replicate the success in the classroom? (great teachers are made, not born)

    Or is their other, perhaps intangible, factors that really cannot be passed on to others? (i.e great teachers are born, not made).

    Just curious as to others opinions on this topic. TIA for any feedback.I am sure people will want to argue for both so in that case, i would like to have a weighted response as to which factor you think is more important..for example, someone might say that with adequate training anyone can become a great teacher so 90% of teaching is science (can be replicated) and the remaining 10% is inherent interpersonal, planning, social, etc. skills.

    This is, of course, not a scientific study. just curious as to what others think. I am sure we have all seen and observed teachers at all levels of effectiveness.
     
  2.  
  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,104

    Apr 12, 2015

    I learn (and steal) something every time I watch another master teacher teach.:) but no, I don't think anyone could just watch and then replicate good teaching.
     
  4. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Apr 12, 2015

    Without a doubt there are intangibles that cannot easily be replicated.

    Teaching strategies and methods alone will not cut it.

    I would say more falls on the side of intangibles. However, I do think teachers can improve on the more art side of teaching, it is just not as easy as the science side.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    4,330
    Likes Received:
    568

    Apr 12, 2015

    I think it depends upon the subject and grade.

    for my grade level (high school) I think you could get away with more science and less art.

    GOOD teachers can be created. They do not have to be born with a certain personality and can use technique to get them where they need to be. They do not even have to be intelligent or creative. A perfectly average person can be a GOOD teacher with an appropriate education and skill-building.

    GREAT teachers, on the other hand, need above-average intelligence and an innate talent that I cannot even quantify.

    As a parent I would love for all of my children's teachers to be great. But I'm perfectly happy with good. It is the bad that I want to avoid.
     
  6. jojo808

    jojo808 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 13, 2015

    I agree. Teaching is a skill. The more you practice the better you get. Yet in order to be a good teacher you need to want to be a good teacher, therefore practicing, learning, honing, reflecting, and revising your practice each year.
     
  7. TheVLCenter

    TheVLCenter New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 13, 2015

    Teaching is scientific art that include both art and science. While teaching kids have to manage kids is an art but while managing kids need scientific approach. Then only teacher can engaged them to avoid naughtiness.
     
  8. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    143

    Apr 13, 2015

    excellent point. Motivation is equally as important, if not more so, than innate ability and/or training.
    The OP assumes that motivation is in place.
     
  9. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,998
    Likes Received:
    156

    Apr 13, 2015

    I'd question your assumption that if reaching is a science, that "anyone" can do it. Baseball may be a science, but not everyone can be a good baseball player. Driving might be an even better example: could you watch someone drive, and then simply do it? Unless you're quite physically gifted, of course you couldn't regardless of how much you "knew".

    I'd also question whether putting percentages on the level of "art" vs "science" is in any way meaningful.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,000

    Apr 13, 2015

    Anyone who is dedicated to being a good teacher and who cares about their students can become a good teacher.

    I think that teaching is almost 100% science, and that there's not much that can't be replicated aside from general personality traits, however I have learned that students will accept all kinds of personalities from their teachers if their teacher is still a good teacher and cares about them.

    But a lot of the parts that people think is a talent is actually something that can be learned, such as how to talk to kids, how to build relationships with students, and how to manage a classroom well.

    What's also needed in order to really push your skill in teaching is an entrepreneurial spirit in being open to new things and wanting to try new things, but again, I believe that is a very scientific frame of mind (wanting to experiment to see how to optimize learning in the classroom).

    At some point, it becomes an art, when the skills and management become so natural that it feels like you are painting a picture of the perfect classroom fluidly rather than measuring and managing each part of it, but you still need to do the science part first before it becomes second nature.

    It's very hard to have a very good teacher for whom teaching has become an art (and perhaps they weren't aware of their transformation from new teacher to natural teacher) to simply teach and have a new teacher understand the science behind it, but it's there, and can be pointed out by people who are experienced in teaching classroom management.
     
  11. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    143

    Apr 13, 2015

    1. I am not sure if that is my assumption. I haven't formed my own opinion yet on this topic.

    2. it's a discussion and exchange of opinions from people in the field. Not meant to be meaningful, just informative. Participation in same is voluntary and not mandatory.
     
  12. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,282
    Likes Received:
    1,640

    Apr 13, 2015

    An art.

    Specific to your question, I think that teachers can watch the Great Ones and can start on the path of replicating those methods. But artists do the same thing with their Great Ones.

    It's not a science so simple as "here's your formula for great teaching."

    Yes, artists learn from one another and even improve in their skills. That's art. Doesn't make it a science.

    In my mind, the science is your curriculum and your assessment and what have you. The teaching is the ideal presentation of the subject matter.
     
  13. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    435

    Apr 13, 2015

    Agreed. Very well said.

    Passion and the transfer of passion is more art than science.
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,770
    Likes Received:
    1,000

    Apr 13, 2015

    I think we have differing opinions on what science is. But then again I'm a science teacher so I'm partial to my subject. =P

    I see it more in the light of experimentation and seeing what works, and what doesn't, adjusting, and optimizing.
     
  15. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,282
    Likes Received:
    1,640

    Apr 14, 2015

    Yeah, I used the term "science" badly. With your definition, I think it works as well as art.
     

Share This Page

test