I’m working on a draft of a book about my teaching philosophy. One of the core tenants is about helping people build confidence in exploring and learning on their own. But how do you practically do that, and how can you use your expertise in a meaningful way? The way I have been thinking about it, is to think of all my expert knowledge as a large field of data. It’s tempting to take people on a guided tour around this field and show them everything. However, instead I try to use my expertise to design really good challenges for people. I give them a clear starting point, a direction to explore and a goal of where they should try to get to. Ideally, having people work in teams, allow them to explore different pathways toward the destination. In the end the teams have discovered many of the elements of the field and can teach each other their different discoveries. For example, I have used this when teaching people software. Without telling them much, I used my expertise to give them a really good starting point, and just enough knowledge that they could build something functional on their own, in very little time.
With much love