Introductory Teachings of Eugene Halliday

What is the meaning and purpose of a ‘Teaching’?

In asking this question may be offered an explanation to what the statement “TO TEACH IS TO LEARN” may mean.

As a pupil the following is passed on to you “Suggestions for the Teacher”, as given to me.

To instruct is to in-build some form into a person.

To teach is to convey information with regard to the particular characteristics of each pupil to be taught.

Thus teaching requires some awareness of the needs not only of general human nature, but also of the differences that exist between one person and another, differences of nationality, of race, of colour, religion, temperament, general and particular education and experience. Only with such full knowledge in the teacher’s mind can teaching reach its most effective level, and only then if it is applied with the good will to develop the potentialities of the pupils to the full.

The teacher is to remind himself or herself that information cannot be most efficiently conveyed if he or she has not yet fully assimilated its significance.

It is a good thing for a teacher to judge his or her own efficiency as a teacher not merely by the intelligent responses given by the most brilliant pupil, but also by the degree to which he or she has been able to help the dullest pupil to grasp the significance of what is being offered.

But a teacher may derive some encouragement for him/herself by observing that the attempt to teach others may cause his/her own mind to disclose aspects of the subject matter he/she is striving to convey, which without this intent to teach he/she would probably never discover. This is the meaning of “To Teach is to Learn.”

By explaining the same facts in ever new ways, the teacher will become progressively more familiar with the subject matter he/she desires to teach. Every phenomena in consciousness, every mental content, has innumerable viewpoints from which it may be experienced and described anew. No content of consciousness can be totally exhausted of its significance in any limited time-span, no matter how long.

Thus the teacher is to make clear to the pupil that no subject matter can ever be totally exhausted in the temporal world. The “last word” can never be said in time about anything.

The “LAST WORD” is hidden in Eternity.

To remember this is to retain the real unassumed humility which every good teacher knows is essential to his/her art.

The writings below are an introduction to the Teachings of Eugene Halliday, the 20th Century British Artist who lived from 1911 to 1985, yet whose works, ideas and instructions seem timeless. We all do well who read, study and inwardly digest at least some of these passages, as excerpted from the original works many of which are found in Concordances on this site.