Writing assembler code/pseudo code 
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 Writing assembler code/pseudo code

>While I've already come to realize I don't always agree with what my
>professors are teaching me, I'm also aware that they're generally more
>skilled and knowledgeable than me

I spent many years both teaching and learning.  One of the things that I learned as a teacher is that there is NO one right way to teach things, even in the rare cases where there is only one right way to do the thing being taught.  

Each student thinks somewhat differently from all other students, and what communicates to many may just confuse that one.  The Myers-Briggs Psychological Type Indicator is useful at elucidating some aspects of how people can think in different manners.
The so-called "left brain" "right brain" dichotomy is another example.  

Some people think fast but shallowly by preference, others slower but with more detail and depth.  Some people find top-down, start from the big picture the most natural way, others need the details first, and build from the bottom up by preference.
While anyone can learn both ways, most people will have a noticeable preference for one or the other.  For those who prefer the top down, getting lots of details first is often confusing.  For those who prefer concrete information, getting the big picture
first is an exercise in futility and meaninglessness.  Some people prefer to think in language, others in sensory streams (e.g., a movie in their head), others still prefer various abstractions, which can be stream oriented (music, imperative programming
languages, Western prose and poetry), others prefer multidimensional abstractions (geometric, map and graph based, some kinds of Chinese poetry or prose) -- just to name a few.  

If you count silently to yourself, do you hear a recitation of the numbers in your head?  See something like a page-a-day calendar changing?  Some other image? Sensory representation?  Or other abstraction?

Knowing ones' preferred modalities and structures can be a source of strength.  You can exercise your unpreferred forms to strengthen weak areas and exercise your preferred forms to hone your talents.  Knowing others' preferred modalities and structures
provides one with a much richer and effective means of communicating (and persuading).  If someone is sensory/auditory telling them that "you hear them" is much more powerful than saying "I see your point"; whereas to a visually oriented person the
reverse is true.

In large lectures it is impossible to customize the material to the needs of the students, but in smaller classes and tutorials, it is not only possible, but it is (to my mind at least) criminal not to customize the material and the way it is presented.

Your professors may be expert in the material being taught, only YOU are an expert in you.

Best wishes

Sat, 29 Oct 2005 23:54:44 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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