Thursday, November 6, 2008

What is the Best Teacher?

Experience Is the Best Teacher
Summary: The essay outlines why studying is only part of the complete learning process, using examples from law and real life. Practical experience in a field or subject is the final step in mastering it, because certain tasks cannot be done effectively without practice and hands-on experience.
Instant Correct Practice makes perfect.
Are you prepared to be operated on by a surgeon who has read all about it in books but has never done it before? Have you had your car repaired by someone reading from a manual but who has never been an apprentice? No! Good morning Chair and members of the audience. We define experience as direct personal participation. We define best as most excellent and we define teacher as someone or something that teaches others.

My first example about why experience is the best teacher is because you may be trained extremely well but without experience you are likely to do worse than a person with less training but a lot of experience. My second example is about our law system. My final example is about some real-life experiences.

If a child touched an iron and was burnt by it, he or she is more likely to remember not to do such a thing in future than another who is told time and time again not to touch it. Many times, as teachers would know, when you teach a pupil something on one day and he nods his head and says "yes I know", and ask him the next day, there is a high chance that he has forgotten. However if he has learned it by an experiment or by experience, he is likely to remember for a very long time, sometimes even to adulthood. There is nothing better than experience - experience is the best teacher.

We gain this through our lives and by putting ourselves in different live situations to get it. We can read about how to debate but it is never as adequate as the experience of it, standing in front of an attentive audience, conscious of saying the right thing, even feeling self-conscious and embarrassed but having done this several times, gaining the experience to deal with it and to improve from it. We try saying the debate to ourselves, to our colleagues and family before coming here today just to get the experience!

Instant Correct Practice makes perfect.
To my second example, our law system is based upon experience through punishment. Take for example a criminal being sentenced to five years imprisonment. He will be less likely to commit such a crime in future because of this.

My third and final example of why experience is the best teacher is you cannot be a barrister, a doctor or an engineer as soon as you finish University. You have to become an articles clerk, an intern or an apprentice to get sufficient experience first. You have to get a L or P driver's license before you gain sufficient experience to obtain a full license. Experience is most definitely the best teacher.

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