Understanding 11: Learning is Natural

It is our nature to inquire, to explore, to push boundaries and to grow. Teaching is not a matter of developing incentives toward learning, but a matter of removing obstacles between learners and learning. Often, the obstacles have grown out of our own attempts to motivate students externally.

“Children do not need to be made to learn about the world or shown how. They want to, and they know how.” – John Holt

  1. The Paper Town Academy: John Green TED Talk
  2. Amanda Palmer on Creativity as Connecting Dots by Maria Popova
  3. Don’t Go Back to School: How to Fuel the Internal Engine of Learning by Maria Popova
  4. Nurturing Children’s Natural Love of Learning by Jan Hunt
  5. TED Video: Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!
  6. TED Video: Sugata Mitra’s new experiments in self-teaching


(adapted from Lao Tzu’s Tao Teh Ching)

The best teacher is the one of whom the students are hardly aware.
Next best is the one they love and praise.
Next, the one they fear.
Last, comes the one whom they despise and defy.

When the teacher shows no faith,
the students will be unfaithful.

The wise teacher is humble and sparing in words.
When the task is accomplished and everything is complete,
the students say, “We did it! We did it all on our own!”

–Lao Tzu, circa 500 BC