Friday, May 23, 2014

What Teaching Taught Me (And Can Teach You) About Learning

According to renowned psychologist and educator, Dr. William Glasser, author of Choice Theory, and creator of Reality Therapy, 10% of what we learn comes from what we READ, 20% from what we HEAR, 30% from what we SEE, 50% from what we SEE and HEAR, 70% from what we DISCUSS with others, 80% from what we EXPERIENCE, and 95% from what we TEACH to someone else.

Many have debated these percentages, but those who teach will attest to how much more they know about a subject as result of teaching it. Teaching is the new learning, and as a professional striving to establish yourself as an authority in a competitive marketplace. It's also an excellent positioning tool.

When I first started teaching, I did not feel that I was qualified to do so. I didn't have a Ph.D., teaching experience, or any training on how to effectively teach. All I had a was a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of my students. While that would ultimately prove to be the difference in the end, it was difficult in the beginning. I quickly learned that having mastery knowledge, and having the skill to clearly articulate and transfer that knowledge are quite different.

My challenge (and your challenge should you accept it)  was learning how to  synthesize and contextualize information so that it became digestible. I had to learn how to see information holistically and develop a talent for storytelling to make it  applicable to real life situations that could empower others to solve real life problems.

Pedagogy aside, Dr. Glasser is onto something. We really don't know the depth and breadth of our knowledge on a subject until we teach it to others. Whether it's in the operating room, boardroom, or classroom, teaching is the best way to facilitate your growth, while facilitating the growth of others.

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