Alistair Cockburn: Teaching is pushing a string; learning is pulling the string
People keep asking, “What is the difference between teaching and learning? What is the instructor’s role? After years of noodling, here’s what I end up with:
Teaching is putting various strings in front of the students to pull on. The role of the instructor is to select and lay out the strings, indicate something about the meaning of pulling on them, etc.
Learning is their pulling on any of those strings. The role of the student is to select some strings, pull on them, abstract/note something about what happens. The instructor can’t really know which strings the student is pulling on, or what the student will learn/abstract/note.
Note that this applies to parenting as much as to teachers.