This quote has become an important one to me in my teaching philosophy as well as in our approach to parenting. It isn't always popular with students and parents, but I believe it is the best way to teach students how to learn. Today I introduced it to my classes. We talked about the quote and how it related to learning math. By the end of the class period most students started to embrace the philosophy as their own. I explained that it would be easy for me to give them every answer and help them on every problem, but then they wouldn't learn how to complete the math assignment independent of me. Although they would probably earn an A on the homework, they wouldn't retain the information. Even worse, I wouldn't be teaching them how to learn.
I felt good about the lesson with the students. I realize that my style of teaching benefits them most. It has helped the Heinisch children become independent thinkers and learners. Unfortunately, many parents struggle more with this type of learning than their student. Teaching students to learn independently knowing that there are times that they will fail miserably is hard. I know, though, if they stick with it and keep trying the rewards are endless. They will have not only learned the math skills needed to succeed in the future, they will also learn how to gain knowledge on their own. This skill will benefit them more in life than any lesson on greatest common factor ever will.