The Entire Premise of Teaching is Deeply Flawed

Sean McClure
2 min readMar 29, 2024

The entire premise of teaching is deeply flawed.

A teacher is “teaching” what took them years to comprehend (or mindlessly regurgitating a curriculum of what others have discerned).

A teacher can only communicate hard-won realizations. But the realization is not the understanding. That’s just the final label. The understanding is the web of insights and dependencies that give labels meaning.

There is no alternative to self-education. You either teach yourself or you remain untaught.

A teacher spouting hollow labels at you cannot impart knowing. The entire point is to wrestle your disordered impressions until you resolve your confusion. Without that struggle you have learned nothing but the idioms found most efficient by those who understand.

What is a teacher but someone who removes the very process of learning? Someone who can do little more than mix established principles with idiosyncratic and unrelatable reasons for believing such principles to be true.

One must forge their own distinctive and peculiar thinking around that which is deemed most relevant. Only by mapping one’s experience and intimate catalog of analogies onto the survived labels of human knowledge does one learn.

Learning cannot be taught. It cannot be presented or displayed. It cannot be compressed into a more usable form. Learning must be a personal journey, one that establishes roots deep within one’s emotional interior.

You cannot learn by being told how the journey ends. It is you who must fill the space between unknowing and knowing.



Sean McClure

Founder Kedion, Ph.D. Computational Chem, builds AI software, studies complexity, host of NonTrivial podcast.