Just before finishing the school year, our headmistress shared with us an article about the passion every teacher must feel for what he or she teaches. I would like to share with you a short summary of it. This is the direct link to the article in Spanish.http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1039129&high=Marcus%20du%20Sautoy
Professor Marcus du Sautoy is one of the most recognized English scientists who has obtained different prizes for his investigations in Maths at Oxford University. More information abut him can be found in the following website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_du_Sautoy
He has become very popular thanks to his Maths writings in newspapers and science TV and radio programmes. Justifying his massive success on such an arid topic he asserted that "people get immediately interested in something that can make someone else so passionate".So saying Sautoy defines the foundations of the teaching work. Those who really teach are able to transmit their personal passion for their knowledge to their students. Consequently decadence in teaching lays on the fact that teachers do not posses the real passion for knowledge that they should transmit; but they need to feel it first.
Teaching practices have developed into different pedagogical issues going deeper into creativity, learning autonomy, interdisciplinary work and respect for students among others. All of them have transformed classrooms into psychological clinics deprived from knowledge and passion for teaching and learning, the transmission of which is the school´s main objective.
Sautoy also completes his answer about his success by saying that "there is a second key: everybody likes challenges and above all the feeling of making everything fit. This is the reason why sudokus have become so successful". He was referring to a central element of teaching, i.e. we should offer some challenges to our students while they are learning. Today adults tend to deny the new generations the intellectual pleasure that derives from facing different challenges because we do not think convenient to defy them to discover the best within themselves by exploiting all of their abilities. Nowadays any demand imposed on our students can be understood as an attack against their person and their freedom. In this way we are only helping them to be freely ignorant.
To conclude we should take into account the keys offered by Sautoy: feel passion for knowledge, transmit it by providing examples, and being convinced that human beings love challenges. If we do not bring these ideas back to the classrooms, education will not change and improve as we all desire.
Please receive my best wishes for the coming year 2009 and I hope to read your comments very soon!