Mr. Gwynne offers the following facts: –
I doubt if the experience of anyone else teaching today is more wide-ranging than mine happens to be.
I shall summarise my experience, and if anyone knows of someone with more of it we can consult him or her as well!
As to my background as a teacher, I am actually the only person I know (other than my daughter) who now teaches in the strictly traditional way that was always used until it was abolished in the 1960s and thereabouts; and I am able to contrast that because I have seen the results of very great deal of modern teaching in action.
As to my actual experience: —
I happen to have taught just about every academic subject: specifically, English grammar and composition, Latin, Greek, French, German, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, history, geography, religion, philosophy in general and logic in particular, and even music.
I have lectured on medicine to practising nurses and even the occasional doctor, and have run courses for businessmen and -women on “How to start up and run your own business”.
My pupils have numbered many hundreds of people, of many different nationalities, of all ages from three years old to over seventy years old, in half a dozen different countries. This has been in many different settings: individually and in small groups, in private homes, in classrooms and in lecture halls, and, most of all as of five years ago “face-to-face” over the Internet (using the Skype and ooVoo programmes).
I have also taught and trained teachers how to teach.
If anyone teaching today has a wider-ranging experience than this, I should like to be introduced.
I started teaching in the traditional way at the beginning of 2010. Before that I had studied Naturopathy and Herbalism, and had practised them for about seven years.
I was forced to put my naturopathy to one side in 2010 due to an accident which made me unable to use my right arm for six months. That is how it came about that I started teaching school subjects over the Internet, as what I thought would be a temporary stop-gap. It was an obvious thing to do because my father was doing this new form of teaching with great success, and I was able to fit in easily with helping with his pupils.
From the start, I taught Latin principally, but English and Mathematics as well. Although having not experienced when at school the traditional, systematic way that my father was using with such extraordinary success in terms of results, I quickly saw the dramatic difference between this teaching and the modern teaching I had experienced, and had no difficulty in picking up quickly what I must call real teaching, and witnessing its effectiveness for myself.
That was three years ago. I can now claim wide experience, since I have been teaching people from all ages, from three year olds to people in their fifties, and “in” places as far apart and different as California, Mexico, West Indies, Switzerland, Ireland, U.K.
My teaching media have been mainly the Internet but also formal classrooms as in the Idler Academy in London, where I have given courses of six or eight weeks in both Latin and in English Grammar.
For how people have gained from my teaching my testimonials are perhaps the best evidence, and I hope you will look at these.
Even more vivid may be just one not untypical piece of anecdotal evidence. I recently set as a test an English sentence to translate into Latin sentence to a student of mine aged twelve whom I had been teaching Latin for two years. He took twenty minutes over it, and got it completely right. As it happens, exactly the same sentence had been given earlier to an eighteen-year-old who had just an A* in his Latin A-level and was about to go to Cambridge to read Classics there. In that very same sentence he made no fewer than twelve mistakes. Yes, twelve.
Nothing, could show up more clearly the difference in effectiveness between the traditional tried-and-tested teaching and even the best of the modern ones, or for that matter, the extent to which the collapse of the learning caused by the modern methods is disguised by the system of marking in present-day exams.