During my years spent in the corporate world in the role of educator and trainer, I found it difficult to get people to accept the uniqueness and necessity of education as a discipline in the organisation. I thought that this problem had been alleviated somewhat in recent times. However, lately I’ve been experiencing the same responses. There still seems to be the belief in many organizations (for-profit and not-for-profit alike) that because an individual has expertise in a certain area, that makes him or her suited to develop and deliver instruction on the topic to others. Such is not the case.
I’m sure that each of us has encountered situations where we try to learn from someone who is renowned for their expertise in an area, but seems incapable of teaching us (good learners that we all are) even the basics of the subject. They have forgotten what is like to know nothing. Anyone seeking to teach must remember what it was like at the beginning of our knowledge, lacking even a basic understanding of the material. That is the only way to teach beginners. For this reason, it is important that anyone developing learning opportunities become and remain aware of the methods of developing instruction or to employ the help of someone who is.
Teaching advanced students in a subject is easy; teaching beginners is much more difficult.