Sunday, February 5, 2017

An element of learning

Piaget contends that disequilibrium is part of the learning process. When I was interviewed for a position at the University of Pittsburgh, the department chair asked me a question I was not prepared for. He asked of all things who my favorite teacher was. I prepared for all questions they might be asking including non academic ones like "what book have you read lately" but I forgot to dwell on this question. I searched my id and came up with my late chem professor, Moises Soriaga at the University of San Carlos as my answer. My rationale for my choice even surprised me.  I said, "He confused me".

Mr. Soriaga was the type of teacher who was unpredictable in his exam questions and equally so during the class discussions. His questions were not direct but thought provoking and yes, confusing. I might have chosen him because the mental calisthenics he conducted in his questioning made me remember and feel I understood what he taught in that dreadful physical chemistry class decades later.

My choice of Mr. Soriaga made sense to me when I took education courses for my certification to teach high school chemistry which I incidentally never got to and studied Piaget. Confusion is the start of thinking more deeply. Thus when my friend Sue in my prayer group said that quote in the poster, I knew learning though frustrating was taking place during the discussion that day.

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