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Education, Training, and the Facts of Life

As a person with more than 20 years of formal education, you would think I should know everything. Actually, I find myself learning new things every day and better understanding things I was taught years ago, not all of which were from a teacher or professor. During my more than 30 years of teaching technical subjects, I have found that I’ve developed an ability to listen carefully to questions students would ask and to discern from those questions what was causing the student confusion and standing as an obstacle to his/her learning. So if we are sincerely trying to learn something, it is important to ask questions and to listen carefully to what others are saying. When I was asked to write this Back to Basics article, I thought about the typical topics and realized that my expertise in basic research and development might not be immediately relevant to the person who often reads these articles. After some additional thought, though, I realized that I have learned some basic concepts that over and over have proven they can be relied upon for guidance.

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