You can’t be a change agent if you’re an expert. [..] Experts have a different aura about them. That aura of expertise is intimidating for neophytes. The aura of “not quite an expert”, the sense of newness associated with someone learning something they’ve just learned, is motivating for newbies. We need less experts, more neophytes. Actually, a constant influx of neophytes to provide a continuous stream of models to engage new learners.
Having had my own crisis of faith, recently, I can concede most of Darren’s premise while at the same time criticizing his conclusion as overly defeated. As Larry Bird became Larry Bird, were more or less people inspired to take up a basketball? Larry Bird became a figure of aspiration, which is what Darren is to a lot of educators. But Larry Bird, to a greater degree than most aspirational figures in the NBA, was also an educational figure, collaborating with coach Red Auerbach on several volumes of video tutorials.
Darren thinks his situation requires more novices when instead it requires better experts. Hungry experts. Experts who empathize with the novice, who constantly re-evaluate their own assumptions from the perspective of a novice, who get outside their own heads as much as possible and as often as possible. This is the fun and the challenge of what we do.