Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My 3 Friends - WWH


Hello all! I would like to just take a second to introduce you to 3 good friends of mine. Their names are What, Why and How. I met these friends in university and they helped me to not go crazy. If you ever have a class in something and you kept thinking: "Man I hate this class, I am not learning anything, *sigh*", chances are that your teacher does not know my friends What, Why and How. I believe it is the secret of great teaching!


First you start with What. What are we learning? This seems obvious but you would not believe the number of professors that I had that just jumped to the how. You start taking notes and your brain is frantically trying to put the pieces together: "Ok, ok, yup, yah, sure, right, oh then that goes there.............WHAT ARE WE DOING!!??". That's a good question! The teacher should start with this first.


Now that I know what I will be learning for the I care? Where will I use this? How will this help me? Where does it fit in the grand scheme of things? These are all Why questions. There is no point in teaching someone how to do something until they have a reason to learn it. If you give them a good why, they'll be chomping at the bit for the how.

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how"
-Friedrich Nietzsche


With the What in place and the Why questions settled, it's time to move onto the How. Tell me you have a good how!? You'd better! Nothing worse than somebody who gets up and tells you about something and why it's so cool, then doesn't tell you how to do it!!! Or even worse, does a terrible job of telling you how to do it (now they've confused you and wasted your time). We can talk about how to teach a good how another time, I just wanted to introduce you to WWH.

Next time you are in a learning environment and you think it stinks, ask yourself which one is missing (or in the wrong order), the What, the Why or the How.