This is a review of the last chapter of Creating Significant Learning Experiences.  The chapter serves multiple purposes, first it reminds us of why we teach, second what does it mean to learn and how people learn and finally the issue of changes in teaching to help learning.

Here Fink returns to some classic thinking of Parker Palmer from To Know As We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey and The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life.  The second of these is still on my list to read.    And looking at some more of Parker Palmer’s work there will be others.

Back to Fink however.  Fink’s desire is to find a new metaphor for teaching and uses the idea of a helmsperson who directs the ship based on the level of the crew.  Sometimes the sailing might be slow other times it may be quick.  This depends on the crew and the terrain.

I think this relates well back to the issue of teaching and discipleship.  I do not believe there should be a difference philosophically between the two.  The process of significant discipleship means that a discipler needs to understand where a disciple is at and steer them forward, similarly for education.  The role of helmsperson does seem appropriate for both.

In the end I heartily recommend this book and will start next week to digest Bain’s What the Best College Teacher’s Do.