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By Timothy Cocks Education for all 12 Aug 2016

library drawing

Great piece from philosopher Nigel Warburton* from about teaching oneself:

The autodidact

“…Today though, we seem to be in a Golden Age for autodidacts. The Internet has made information about almost any subject freely available, in the form of videos, podcasts, downloadable files, or even entire online courses complete with feedback. Many of these resources are of a very high quality; some provide a better education than you would get in most conventional universities, particularly those which can no longer afford to include small group teaching or individual tutorials in their curriculum.

…There are many things you can learn at a distance, but some things seem to require a presence. It is hard to pin down exactly what in-the-room learning provides that distance learning rarely achieves, but one aspect is surely flexibility.

Long ago Socrates commented about the inflexibility of the written as opposed to the spoken word: in the Phaedrus Plato has him pointing out how writing can appear intelligent, but gives precisely the same answers whoever interrogates it. Teaching materials and books are similarly incapable of making sensitive responses. A good teacher might tailor what he or she says to the people in the room, but a one-size-fits-all book, podcast, or video doesn’t allow that degree of responsiveness.” (emphasis added)

Reminded me of what we have been trying to say about the vital importance of Building a curriculum:

“Creating a curriculum is what separates correctly done Explain Pain from the  ad-hoc ‘education’ that can occur in clinical settings (and sometime research settings too) that is often more about knowledge shows or paying lip service to ‘education’ or notions of biopsychosocialism.

…As educators, we need to be ready to adapt – adapt the message, adapt the delivery style and adapt the timing and so on – this becomes a bit of a didactic dance as we adjust continually to the responses of the patient, making sure that we have them on board as we mentally check off each target concept.”

-Tim Cocks

*You can find Nigel Warburton on Twitter @philosophybites, on his website or listen to his Philosophy Bites podcast via iTunes or your favourite podcast source.



EP3 events have sold out three years running in Australia, and we are super excited to be bringing this unique format to the United States in late 2016 with Lorimer Moseley, Mark Jensen, David Butler, and few NOI surprises.

EP3 EAST Philadelphia, December 2, 3, 4 2016

EP3 WEST Seattle, December 9, 10, 11 2016

To register your interest, contact NOI USA:

p (610) 664-4465




Last chance to get on an Australian Explain Pain or Graded Motor Imagery Course for 2016

Gold Coast 30 September – 2 October Explain Pain and Graded Motor Imagery (Close to full, remaining tickets selling fast)

Perth 15 – 17 October Explain Pain and Graded Motor Imagery



  1. You can see learning as being about acquiring. At the heart of learning about things that matter though is coming to see something differently – using a new lens or frame, adopting/understanding new concepts. This is as much about letting go as ‘letting in’. It can (only?) take place through a specific kind of conversation between teacher and learner in which the latter gets access to how the former understands and uses the key concepts in question (yes, flexibility) and the former designs the container for learning to enable and check on this.

    For more on this in formal settings, see Laurillard’s conversational framework.

  2. When singing there is a big difference between rehearsing the song in the studio and living the song when infront of an audience. Before our patients we need to pick up on the mood and atmosphere and deliver accordingly to get, as the Aussies say” the patient on side”
    DB London
    On location 😎😎😎

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