Adler and Van Doren’s “The Activity and Art of Reading”

Adler and Van Doren’s “The Activity and Art of Reading”


Adler and Van Doren assert that students “must do the learning” in the process of education. The idea propounded by the duo is true in the process of gaining knowledge. Teachers’ critical role is to facilitate the learning process by guiding students. The teacher delivers the content while carefully guiding the learner. However, it is the sole responsibility of the student to do the learning, or as the duo asserts, “knowledge must grow” in the mind of the student. The teacher may deliver the content well in class. Nonetheless, if students fail to do the learning, set goals of education will not be realized. The students may be taught different things. However, students must show the initiative to learn or gain knowledge. Once students are taught in class be teachers, it is their initiative to understand or apply the concepts taught in real life situations. Students should take time to reflect on what they have been taught by the teacher, and think of how the new concepts can apply in real life situations. Thus as the duo asserts, students take the initiative to learn by themselves.


As a student, I have a critical role to play in the learning process with respect to the instructor. Students are responsible for their own success or in this case failure in the learning process. Students should be active participants in the learning process. As a good student, one of my major roles is to ensure that I attend all classes and complete assignments handed by the instructor. During lessons, I should be attentive and participate in class discussions which help grasp the content in a better way. My role as a student also involves asking for clarification from the teacher in case I fail to understand what is being taught. After the lesson, it is my role to apply the concepts learnt or relate them to real life situations. This means carrying out additional research into the topic or what has been taught by the teacher in order to supplement my knowledge. As a student, I have a responsibility to expand my knowledge in specific area beyond that which is taught in class.

The teacher is of great importance in the learning process. The teacher facilitates the learning process by communicating information to learners in a way they can understand. Teachers facilitate the process of learning either through writing or giving speech to the learners. The teacher should keep the learners interested in discovering through learning. The teacher should therefore ensure that his/her lessons capture the interests of the learners. The teacher guides the entire learning process. This means that the teacher is in charge of organizing content to deliver in class, leading discussions and guiding the entire process of learning.

The role of a teacher may vary in different cultures. The teacher should be able to understand other languages since different cultures have different languages. The teacher should also be open to a wide variety of worldviews. It is important for the teacher to understand the worldviews of other cultures since they may be significantly different from his/her own. In some cultures, students are allowed to make their own classroom decisions while in others the teacher is responsible.

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