- Schools and colleges tend to hire math teachers who "get" math instinctively. Most people don't learn math that way. So, many such instructors don't know how to explain math to regular folk.
- Electronics companies hire enginerd types to design gadgets from computers to smart phones. Most consumers are overwhelmed by all the "cool" features those geeks build in. So such consumers end up paying for features they'll never use or the complicated interface means they'll never use the gadget at all. A friend of mine tried to install and use her DV-R to no avail. She returned it.
- We're impressed by a golf instructor who was a former pro. Yet, like most pros, he has a naturally great swing and that preternaturally calm golf demeanor. I tried to learn golf from such people--They couldn't effectively deal with my energetic metabolism and baseball-player swing. Despite lots of lessons and the natural athletic ability of someone who played four years of college varsity baseball (Occasionally, I could drive 280 yards,) I've never broken 100.
So in selecting the instructors for NewGeneralEd.Org, I plan to particularly seek out people who, while smart, clear communicators, and motivational to students, struggled (successfully) to learn the material they'd be teaching. For example, for the quantitative reasoning course, I'd rather hire someone who struggled to learn to think in terms of risk-reward than someone for whom that came intuitively.