The Art of Teaching, by Gilbert Highet


Over the summer our faculty read The Art of Teaching, by Gilbert Highet. Originally published in 1950, the book is full of valuable advice about how to prepare for classes and use assignments effectively, and a beautiful discussion of what it means to be a teacher. Highet says that parents are a child’s first and most important teachers. If you’re interested in teaching, or learning more about how our teachers think about their work,  you can pick up a copy of the book here.
Highet is very quotable. I thought you’d enjoy a few snippets:

  • “The young do not demand omniscience. They know it is unattainable. They do demand sincerity.”
  • “You can learn a great deal about [students] by remembering your own youth. The more intensely you can think yourself back into those parts of it which seem furthest away from your present adult life, the better you can understand the young.”
  • “Most people, as we see, stop growing between thirty and forty. They ‘settle down’–a phrase which implies stagnation–or at the utmost they ‘coast along,’ using their acquired momentum, applying no more energy, and gradually slowing down to a stop. No teacher should dream of doing this. His job is to understand a large and important area of the word’s activity and achievement and making it viable for the young. He should expect to understand more and more of it as the years go by.”