Gregory on The Teaching Process

[NOTE: I have almost finished John Milton Gregory’s The Seven Laws of Teaching. I will post a more extensive list of excerpts some other time, but for today, our quote comes from Gregory’s observation that a teacher must “excite and direct the self-activities of the pupil, and as a rule tell him nothing he can learn himself.”]

We can learn without a teacher. Children learn hundreds of facts before they ever see a school, sometimes with the aid of parents or others, often by their own unaided efforts. In the greater part of our acquisitions, we are self-taught, and it is quite generally conceded we are self-taught, and it is quite generally conceded that that knowledge is most permanent and best which is dug out by unaided research. Everything, at the outset, must be learned by the discoverer without an instructor, since no instructor knows it. If, then, we can learn without being taught, it follows that the true function of the teacher is to create the most favorable condition for self-learning. Essentially the acquisition of knowledge must be brought about by the same agencies and through the use of the same methods, whether with or without a teacher.

Gregory, John Milton. The Seven Laws of Teaching. PP. 81-82
Also available on Google Books here.

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