5/20/2011 Quote of the Day

Today’s quote is from Gilbert Strang.

This is like a grown-up course. I’m figuring you’re here to learn, so it’s not my job to force it. My job is to help it, and I hope this is some help.

MIT 18.085 Computational Science and Engineering I, Recitation 1 (49:18) [Fall 2008]

The quote conveys Strang’s priority to help students learn.

Schooling can sometimes present obstacles that interfere with learning. Credits, requirements, grades, rote assignments and other aspects of school can all distract from learning. While I understand their intended purpose, I suspect that there are ways to minimize such distractions. Treating a course as a “grown-up course” sounds like it might be Strang’s way to mitigate distractions, benefiting the students that are “[there] to learn.”

The distinction between schooling and education is addressed in the following quote, attributed to Mark Twain.

I never let schooling interfere with my education.

I haven’t been able to trace the quote’s origin. The quote conveys Twain’s belief that the objectives and/or outcomes of schooling and education are misaligned.

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