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Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal last week about the nature/aspect of learning.  Thought provoking...I've been on multiple ends of this continuum. 
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Charley Deppner's profile photoPaul Becker's profile photo
 
http://www.ink19.com/issues_F/98_09/feature/schoolhouse_nf.html

A fairly sophomoric editorial of my own.

However, I still stand by the idea that "to fail is to learn" and, in turn, the true nature of learning is one of humiliation- (To learn something is to admit you do not know it- As sensei raps your knuckles with a stick.)

This explains a common ambivalence towards educators and education as a whole.
 
Completely agree with your assessment. Most students equate failing as bad, when it's not true. Even more so, they have difficulty with problem solving tasks because they figure if they out-wait me, I'll get so frustrated and give them the answer. They are astonished when that doesn't happen. I'm not talking about stuff that requires guidance from me, rather stuff they should have looked up on their own and offered their own commentary on.

Like your article suggested (which was great btw), teachers and education get blasted by several directions and I've always asserted that teachers (or anyone) don't want to be horrible at their jobs; it's the system (and criticism) that has worn them down.
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