In Chapter 10 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, leadership philosopher Bijoy Goswami answers "What Steps Have You Taken to Become a Better Teacher?" Goswami differentiates between teaching and lecturing. He notes what he has learned about making sure the student generates something new after absorbing and learning the concepts or lessons.
Bijoy Goswami is a writer, teacher, and community leader based in Austin, Texas. He develops learning models, including MRE, youPlusU, and Bootstrap, to help others live more meaningfully. Previously, he co-founded Aviri Software after working at Trilogy Software. Goswami graduated from Stanford University, where he studied Computer Science, Economics, and History.
Erik Michielsen: What steps have you taken to become a better teacher?
Bijoy Goswami: So, I think there’s a lot of pieces to that puzzle and it’s… teaching is a really complex thing. A lot of the times you think oh, teaching I will just get up there and pontificate and blab on that’s really not teaching that’s lecturing, that’s entertaining, that’s not teaching.
So, I think the really key piece of teaching is that the student has to generate. They have to generate something. If they’re not generating something there’s no evidence of learning and there’s no way to know that they’re learning. They’re actually aren’t learning.
So, you know, there’s a process but you got to get them choose into concept, you gotta get them multi-model because people are depending on modalities, some wanna hear it, some wanna see it, some wanna touch it that kind of thing but ultimately they gotta generate it and they gotta take the concept and do something with it, create something new with it. If you haven’t done that third step I think that’s when you haven’t really succeeded as a teacher.
So, that’s maybe the biggest thing I've learned is if they’re just passively sitting there, you know, taking in information and they aren’t actually processing it and then not spewing it out like you told them but actually combining it to create something new, that third part is the real test of learning and teaching.