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Gillian Bridge has written an article for InTuition.

March 30, 2020

Read the full writer's blog below.

It’s become the new mantra of teaching, so much so that I sometimes wonder if the primary requirement of an aspiring teacher is that they have ‘a passion for their subject’, to which the one and only acceptable answer has to be, ‘Oh, yes, I’m just sooo passionate about my subject!’

I bet there are lots of teachers and trainers who, in the darkest and innermost recesses of their truth, wonder such unspeakable things as ‘Do I actually give a monkey’s about quadratic equations, or even Shakespeare’s attitude to gender equality?’ Or – even more unspeakable, if not almost unthinkable – ‘is passion either a desirable or even necessary measure or antecedent for good teaching?’ There, I’ve said it!

And I say quite a bit more on the subject in my two books, The Significance Delusion and Sweet Distress: how our love affair with feelings has fuelled the mental health crisis (and what we can do about it)

In the latter, I look at evidence that suggests that too much emoting can be very bad for our mental health. Emotional and zealous over-commitment to ideas, causes and philosophies can encourage narrow, silo-thinking which is bad for mental health, and the health of society as a whole.

Perhaps, just sometimes transmitting knowledge, stripped of overly emotional filtering, is the best form of teaching. And how liberating might that be for many teachers? I feel quite passionately about the possibility in fact.


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