I’ve never read the book that this comes from, but I think the quote applies perfectly to teaching.
Think about the last time you did a lesson. What do you think the goal was for most of the students?
Did they want to understand how photosynthesis works?
Did they want to grasp the difference in a static and non-static method?
Sure, there are probably some students in your room that are there because they want to use what you’re teaching after they get out of school. Future doctors are going to be very interested in their biology class. Future programmers will likely be interested in their computer science lessons.
But I’d argue that the majority of students, especially those in required classes, are only listening to get the base level of instruction that they need to do well on assignments and exams.
I’m not sure what the best solution is, or if there is even a good solution. But I came across this quote earlier today and it struck me as something that applies perfectly to many of the students we teach.