My basic training in the field I teach could be considered “old school”, I learned almost everything I know through mentorship, impossible assignments while I was a student with ridiculous timeframes and of course try and error, a lot of errors.
Confronted with the idea of being up to date, I had to learn fairly recently, everything I teach today and in the process, I learned how to learn from tools that basically were enhancing my basic knowledge, tools that allowed me to overreach in a matter of speaking, to explore areas that otherwise would have been not impossible to obtain, but hard enough not to be taken into consideration.
Soon enough I was overwhelmed with technology and its fast-track pacing, the faster you are the more you do, the less attention you pay to details. I felt that the spiral of the learning process had to be controlled, and set to a productive but meaningful pace.
Core values like, what I call professional honesty, common sense, and commitment were the pivot points that guide me to find a transition from the knowing how to do it to know how to show it.
I try to apply the sequence of my learning process and those core values to my students own learning process with the clear understanding that they will create their own set of priorities and the pacing that comes with it.
In my experience, knowing what I know just creates a clear boundary of those things I don’t know. Pushing that boundary constantly in class often creates an empathy with the students that I think don’t make them feel overwhelmed or threatened by the professor “extensive knowledge”, but on the contrary, we are pushing together the outcomes of the learning challenge. I try very hard to make the student not to feel alone but to be part of a group that is trying to figure out something.
Yes, there are many challenges because not everybody is the same therefore the learning process takes sometimes more time than expected and this creates a real problem.
I have to say that this approach is not always successful but it does seem to work on the majority of my students, but I am always open to discover new ways to send a message as a teacher that a student on the other side of the table can clearly get and do something with it.