Teaching & Educating According to Hermann Hesse


Here’s yet another excerpt from Hermann Hesse’s tour de force, Das Glasperlenspiel, published in English as Magister Ludi [1943].

Now the pupil had become a teacher, and as such he had mastered the major task of his first period in office: the struggle to win authority and forge an identity of person and office. In the course of this he made two discoveries. The first was the pleasure it gives to transplant the achievements of the mind into other minds and see them being transformed into entirely new shapes and emanations – in other words, the joy of teaching. The second was grappling with the personalities of the students, the attainment and practice of authority and leadership – in other words, the joy of educating. He never separated the two, and during his magistracy he not only trained a large number of good and some superb Glass Bead Game players, but also by example, by admonition, by his austere sort of patience, and by the force of his personality and character, elicited from a great many of his students the very best they were capable of.

I can say that the Art of Instructing a mind is, at the very least, two part. I like the way Hesse breaks down the Art of Instructing into teaching and educating.

For him, you have to teach and educate a mind in order to consider yourself a proper instructor.

For him, you have to throw ideas at a mind and command enough respect to get your ideas digested, processed, and rebirthed in some new and unique form if you want to call yourself an instructor.

For him, great instructors, people gifted in the Art of Instructing, are never trampled on or disrespected. Great instructors are always taken seriously, always treated well, and then everything they say is like a nugget of gold that is then melted down into its basic elements and reconfigured into something that is ultimately progress.

On world, on.

February 25, 2010 7:17 pm

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