Jan 20, 2019
John Wooden was a basketball coach for UCLA and an English teacher. He is renowned as one of the greatest coaches of all time, winning 10 out of 12 NCAA championships, including seven in a row, and has been named Coach of the Century by ESPN among others.
You Haven't Taught Until They've Learned is a book about his pedagogy, written by one of his former players (Swen Nater) and by an education researcher who had the rare privilege to observe his basketball practices and ask him detailed questions about his teaching (Ronald Gallimore). The dual authorship gives it a valuable two-pronged perspective, that of student as well as that of researcher.
As one reads the book, one is struck by the sense that Coach Wooden was not only exceptional in terms of what he did - his approach to teaching - but also who he was - a man of such strong moral character that it is daunting even to use him as a role model. He taught by example as well as teaching explicitly, and his students remember him for that.
In his retirement, barely a day went by without one of John Wooden's former students calling him to talk. He pushed his students hard, but he also cared for them deeply. It is surely valuable to examine some of his practices and principles from his exceptional career.
Enjoy the episode.