July 2013

Covering the Material

A few days ago I had a chance to attend a talk by Dwayne Huebner. He is a philosopher, an educator, a theologian. It was a very interesting talk. However, what I remembered the most is his mentioning of how we, educators, are trying to COVER the material… I love language and I immediately started thinking about it and I realized that our goal should be UNCOVERING things, making people interested, inspired, yet we are COVERING… From the online dictionary, I found the definition of the word COVER:


[kuhv-er] Show IPA

verb (used with object)

1. to be or serve as a covering for; extend over; rest on the surface of: Snow covered the fields.
2. to place something over or upon, as for protection, concealment, or warmth.
3. to provide with a covering or top: Cover the pot with a lid.
4. to protect or conceal (the body, head, etc.) with clothes, a hat, etc; wrap. bring upon (oneself): He covered himself with glory by his exploits.
How did it happen that we became the people who are trying to COVER more and more… For what purpose? During the entire talk I kept thinking about. I translated the word into Russian, Hebrew and Ukrainian and it was exactly the same, we, teachers, are trying to COVER AS MUCH MATERIAL AS WE CAN… So the students will never be able to see what is there UNDER THE COVERS? Somehow this metaphor got stuck with me and I told my students, that I WILL REMOVE this expression “COVERING THE MATERIAL” from my vocabulary.
Another great idea was “The kids are the best disrobbers”… It was said in the context of the The Emperor’s New Clothes… If we do not like a subject and we are required to teach it, the kids will see it through…
I loved the presentation and I am so happy I could attend it.

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