Accretionary Wedge #44 – “most important teacher”

Teaching is not just about imparting knowledge. To quote Elli Goeke, an important teacher is a “person has influenced not just my knowledge of a particular subject, but has also changed how I address research or teaching or just life in general (or all three).” These posts will teach you that great teachers can also inspire, instil discipline and generate self-belief. Denise Tang knows a Chinese expression that sums it up: teachers “pass the knowledge and good traditions to the next generation”.

We’ll start with Southern Geologist’s first contribution to an accretionary wedge, on a new blog. The post describes a inspirational introductory course in Geology, which for variety and interest put other sciences in the shade.

Short Geologist picks an anonymous college chemistry teacher whose good teaching cured a phobia of ‘hard’ equation-rich subjects and laid the foundations for successful geological studies.

Denise Tang over at Life as a Geologist owes a debt to Prof. LS Chan, who introduced her to Geology and so “passed the flame”.

My post on John Dewey describes how I learnt the importance of breadth from a remarkable man.

John Adams (the Geologist) was taught geology by not one, not two, but three Ulstermen called Reid and is interested in knowing if anyone else remembers them.

Over at Life in Plane Light, Elli Goeke tells us about three ‘runner-up’ teachers  but settles for Kim Hannula as her most important, someone who is a mentor as well as a teacher.

Hollis over at Plants and Rocks gives us a tribute describing the life and work of Dr Brainerd “Nip” Mears Jr, a man who contributed to our understanding of the Geomorphology of the American west, but who put his students first.

Following a common theme, Casey at Gioscience lists the teachers (at University of North Carolina at Wilmington) who led him to a love of Geology: Dr. W. Burleigh Harris, Dr. David Blake and Dr. Michael Smith.

Moving away from formal education, Dana Hunter offers a characteristically engaging and generously-illustrated story  (also here) about how Lockwood DeWitt fed her geology addiction with a first opportunity to “see some stuff with an actual geologist”. There are some great descriptions of what being taught by a great teacher is like and how they build confidence as well as impart knowledge.

The man himself, Lockwood DeWitt submits a touching eulogy to Harold “Sharkey” Enlows the College teacher “who made me work the hardest, and from whom I learned the most”.

Ann over solved the difficult problem of picking between her university geology teachers by talking instead about an important school teacher, Miss Relic who through belief and encouragement changed for the better the way Ann thought about learning and her own abilities.

Ryan Jackson over at Educated Erosion had no problem choosing Coach Ford, an inspiring High School teacher who set him off on a rocky road.

The next wedge is hosted by Denise Tang and is “Geological Pilgrimage – the sacred geological place that you must visit at least once in your lifetime “. Get thinking…

Categories: Accretionary Wedge

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