The New York Times Book Review printed a very short interview with author Steven Pinker a week last week. It was same issue in which Pinker had written a review of Malcolm Gladwell’s newest book.
Here’s an excerpt from that interview:
“…Pinker, the author of “How the Mind Works” and “The Blank Slate,” acknowledges that academic explainers have their own faults. “Academics lack perspective. In a debate on whether the world is round, they would argue ‘no,’ because it’s an oblate spheroid,” he said. “They suffer from ‘the curse of knowledge’: the inability to imagine what it’s like not to know something that they know. That makes them underestimate the sophistication of readers and write in motherese rather than explaining concepts from the ground up.”
That sounds like a great quality a teacher should have:
The ability to imagine what it’s like not to know something that they know.