Just finished marking a bunch of assignments in one of the courses I teach. Two people got the highest possible mark. One assignment was about 25 pages, that other about 5 – but they were both excellent.
It made me think: sometimes I think that when we say ‘there’s no One Right Way to teach’ we’re misunderstood as saying that ‘there are no wrong or right ways to teach’. But of course there are wrong ways – maybe some of you have experienced really bad teaching. Any teaching that is abusive is obviously wrong, but so is any teaching that doesn’t lead to learning, or that ignores the learning of some students, or…
But the point is also that there are many possible right ways. Different teachers have different personalities, different strengths and weaknesses, and are teaching in different contexts. They should definitely challenge themselves to avoid over-stressing their strengths and to find ways to alleviate their weaknesses, but the bottom line is that every teacher will teach differently – and many of the ways they teach will be the right way, for them and more importantly for their students. There are many right ways.
I think that’s an important distinction to make in education. But aren’t almost all religions (with the possible exclusion of some forms of Buddhism) based on the idea that there is One Right Way to salvation, and often One Right Way to live? Is this so? Should it be?