"Students can't be carbon copies of their teachers, thank God," John H. Finley '25, Professor of Greek Literature Emeritus, told 75 people in Science Center A yesterday as part of a seminar on "Lecturing in the Humanities."
In the first of a series of discussions sponsored by the Danforth Center for Teaching and Learning, Finley said only a student's own desire for knowledge will allow him to learn something.
James S. Ackerman, professor of Fine Arts, and Wallace T. MacCaffrey, professor of History, also spoke in the forum.
The five-lecture series will cocentrate on specific learning situations which confront every new teacher including the lecture, the section, the seminar and the tutorial.
The purpose of the lecture is not merely to convey information to students, MacCaffrey said, out rather to give a dramatic structure to the subject so that a sense of its wholeness will develop.
Although Finley agreed that a lecture should be "organically conceived," he warned that it might become like "a torn Persian rug where the original design is imperceivable to the young."
Finley insists that because "the lecture is the lecturer's own self-discovery," a lecturer must not talk down to students, since, in oen sense, they are merely overhearing what the lecturer is trying to explain to himself.
Understanding can only be achieved, Ackerman said, "by projecting yourself into other times and other conditions.
"There are times when I don't think I can do that job decently and wish I had the guts to guit when things are really going badly," Ackerman added.