An understanding of the basics

Abraham Moses Genen (
Sat, 20 Sep 1997 09:13:58 -0400

Abraham Moses Genen
Being dedicated to the future progress of humankind
should be the prime concern of all civilized beings.
Dear EvMick:

Your question about learning the basics tends to come up at the beginning
of each semester.

Obviously, there are those in each class who are more than familiar with
the basics in the disciplines to be taught. There are others in some of
the graduate courses who require some review, or have no experience in the
theory or philosophy of the subjects under consideration.

To some extent we are also concerned with the perspective (or paradigm) of
the instructor. I usually try to approach a subject from multiple
perspectives in the hope of broadening the minds of the students. On
occasion, I'll get an older student (but never as old as me - so far) who
is far more familiar with a certain aspect of a discipine than I am. When
that happens, I usually ask them to submit an essay to the class on
alternate perspectives with reference given to the sources -- if any.
This usually provides for an interesting dialogue.