Transformational Education > A new way of teaching
Excerpt from McNair's speech "Tough-mindedness and the Case Method"
"You have often heard the statement," McNair told the members of the 23rd Advanced Management Program on February 25, 1953, "that knowledge is power. Too frequently this is interpreted to mean that knowledge confers power. Nothing could be less true, I think, than that passively acquired knowledge confers any power on the recipient. This is something which many college graduates have to learn to their sorrow when they get out into the world. When we say 'Knowledge is power,' we mean something quite different. We mean that true knowledge consists of something quite different. We mean that true knowledge consists of power, power to tackle a problem, to break it down, sort out the facts, see what must be done, and then get it done."
"Now, that kind of power can't be conferred; it has to be acquired, and it has to be acquired by painstaking personal effort. That is why we shall ask you to travel the hard route of the case method instead of the easy route of the textbook and lecture method. We shall expect you to dig things out for yourselves, because real education is a process of drawing out the student's mind, not of pouring in the instructor's ideas. The value lies not in what you will dig out, but in the power that you will develop by digging. In the Business School you will find that there are no answers in the back of the book; in fact, for the most part, there isn't even any book." …
"For this kind of education, tough-mindedness is necessary, tough-mindedness on the part of both students and instructor."