Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Four Teachers

A great comment by Tzvee Zahavy:
"Just as there are four archetypes of students, some of each of those four types become teachers. It behooves us to be honest and to examine and be introspective about how the wise teacher answers, how the evil teacher answers, how the simple teacher answers and how the teacher who does not know how to teach answers. I have had all four kinds of teachers. I can tell you that modeling a proper mode of discourse is the best way to teach a student how to frame a question.

So IMHO teachers should speak more critically about their own conduct and be less dictatorial about how students should comport themselves."
It reminded me of the criticism of four kinds of rabbis, contemporary of the Maharatz Chajes, as posted here, from Dr. Judith Bleich's article 'Rabbinic Responses to Non-Observance in the Modern World' in the Orthodox Forum book 'Jewish Tradition and the Nontraditional World', ed. Jacob J. Schachter (Northvale, N.J., 1992).

HOWEVER it must also be remembered that if there are four types of teachers who give four types of answers, only one type is the 'rasha,' so indiscriminate teacher/ rebbe/ professor/ rabbi/ morah bashing is inappropriate.

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