Spoon-feeding is not spoon-feeding

By casolivier, 4 June, 2013

In education, spoon-feeding is understood as a teacher who feeds learners with ‘digested’ information.

Spoon-feeding is also associated with talk-and-chalk, where the teacher is in front of the class explaining content, concepts, procedures and process to students.

Once seen from the learner’s viewpoint it becomes clear that this is a misleading term, because of the following reasons:

  1. Once visualising the spoon-feeding process, one imagines a teacher in front of the class with a (one) spoon.
  2. One also visualize open mouths or minds of a number of students (the class).


The challenge is to bring these two pictures together.

EITHER the teacher must have a spoon for every student, which is a misnomer because talk and chalk is not individualized OR the teacher must have one BIG spoon which also defeats the individualized image of the spoon-feeding concept.

So, what on earth is the teacher doing?

Scenario 1

Imagining how the concepts travel from his/her brain through his/her mouth through the senses of the learners into the brains of the students to definitely making sense somewhere?

Scenario 2

Imagining how these external concepts get cemented onto or into existing prior knowledge of the students becoming part of long memory?

It seems as if the trainer-centred talk-and-chalk method is about dumping 'knowledge' onto learners, with no guarantee of learning.

Is this the reason for the status of our education and training system? (Amongst the worst in the world)

How much of out teaching time is consumed by spoon-feeding?



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