Diagnosing And Creating Ophelia Syndrome Analysis

1038 Words 5 Pages
What makes an instructor so effective? Many people have different thoughts on what makes a good instructor, but according to Thomas Plummer, professor of Germanic and Slavic languages at Brigham Young University and author of the article “Diagnosing and Treating Ophelia Syndrome,” a great teacher will be well known and highly spoken of by the students. Plummer discusses the Ophelia Syndrome which is based off of the play Hamlet, where Ophelia is a girl who is told what to do, say, think, and feel by Polonius, who is a man after power and authority over others. Furthermore, James Paul Gee, a linguist and author of the article “What is Literacy,” tells us that the difference between acquiring knowledge and learning something is when you acquire …show more content…
Gee explains that mastering knowledge “requires exposure to models in natural, meaningful, and functional settings” (542). It is important for a student to have an instructor who is a good leader and example because the student needs to acquire knowledge that only the instructor can provide through their actions. Gee then states that “we are better at what we acquire, but we consciously know more about what we have learned” (540). Gee is stating that students will prosper in the subjects they acquire: students will succeed from good examples of what to do. Plummer claims that an effective teacher will “refuse to be a Polonius, they refuse to make you a baby, and they refuse to do your thinking for you” (Plummer). Instructors must not tell the students all of the information they need, but let them see for themselves that the instructor is helping them. In order for the student to succeed, they must go through their own trials and errors. Also, instructors need to continue with the student on their journey through acquiring the knowledge. After the instructor tells the student to think it over for themselves, the instructor then must guide the student in the correct direction and give those examples on how to correctly find the information for …show more content…
It is important for a student to acquire knowledge from their instructor because they will know how to think for themselves, and they will know by the example the instructor sets. Learning knowledge about knowledge is also important after acquiring knowledge because the student must first learn the required basics of the matter before continuing their learning. After acquiring and learning, the student must become an individual because when they do so, they will be less likely to become an Ophelia and will be able to carry on their discourse by their words and their actions. A student becoming an individual is possible if instructors are taught the proper way. Instructors will need to know how not to be a Polonius, but to know how to help an Ophelia. Most importantly, instructors need to know how to help the student acquire and learn. There may be the set back to the solution when not all instructors are properly educated on how to become a good instructor, but that can be fixed if all states require that teachers take a short, one day course on the difference between acquisition and learning and how to apply that when teaching students. The instructors who help students acquire, learn, and become individuals will change the world we live in today because the students will no longer be Ophelias, but will be individuals who then know how to be an

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