On Learning

A few years ago I decided to go back to university. Last year I did go back to university. Primarily because I was interested in compiler-y things. Secondly because at the time I thought I learned things better while being surrounded by like minded peers.

Being back in school again I realize I was sort of right but mostly wrong.

There are different ways to learn. Stress does it for me (half joking). We spend too much time in classrooms getting minute details spoon fed to us. Students, noobies, juniors, whatever you call them are capable of more than you realize.

Dan Abramov once tweeted:

At some point we as a community started infantilizing the beginners. ‘Beginners will misunderstand/misuse your advice’, etc. Beginners aren’t stupid! They are plenty capable for understanding nuance. Give them more credit.

Infantilizing is just another form of gatekeeping.

Link to Dan’s original tweet.

I generalize: infantilizing, spoon feeding is doing a disservice.

Use class time for high level concepts. Present your junior with a path. Learning how to begin is tough. Getting the big right is important. The small is a one person job. The student is this person. After some reflection on the students part the rest will come. People require space to think. Allowing this space to exist is important.

I spend too much time in lecture.