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Old October 26th, 2011, 4:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6

Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Firstly I don't think Snape taught by rote and I would be interested to know what brought you to this conclusion.
Because Snape writes things out and wants them copied exactly, or else. I don't see much exploration or explanation there. I think it is perfectly possibly to learn to make a potion by rote, so that part works for students good at following directions, but I don't think rote is a way to learn the theory or explore improvements.

Secondly there is a vast difference between parrotting from a book and parrotting a teachers directions both in real life and in Harry Potter. We know that while he was still a student Snape was improving the potions recipes as they were in the book, and this highlights the difference.
Slughorn was Severus's teacher. I don't think Slughorn taught by rote. He seemed very open to creativity. Snape seems to done his experimenting and improvements under Slughorn.

A teacher who expects children to parrot the book - as Umbridge did - does not put any effort into the preparation of the lesson nor expects the pupils to learn anything outside the text of the book concerned. In many ways a teacher who parrot from a book is nothing more than a glorified child minder. A teacher who expects the children to parrot his instructions is teaching the children to make potions accurately using the best recipe available.
Snape is still teaching by rote-- he's just using his information instead of the official book's. Yes, his recipes are better than the official books. That doesn't stop his method from being rote, though. Unless one direction is proven bette than the other, how is a child to know? The only way would be for a child to experiment, in my opinion--which is something that Snape did not allow in his class as far as I can see. I think testing different recipes to see differnt results would be a great learning experience.

And rightly so! Any teacher would in a practical subject - particularly one where accidents can be dangerous. I can imagine a chemistry teacher getting very cross if students do not stick to the instructions when conducting experiments.

Again I do not recall any chemistry teachers encouraging exploration or experimentation in practical sessions. You followed instructions. I would say that the same applies to transfiguration which is also a difficult and dangerous subject, and I don't recall any experimentation or exploration in McGonagall's classes either.
Heh, I guess I know of very different chemistry teachers.

But my point wasn't Follow Directions Bad! Break Directions Good! Or even Rote Bad! Experiment Good! Just that I don't see him encouraging exploration or experimentation, thus the idea that he was trying to break Hermione of rigidityas as put forth by MinervasCat seems out there to me when it appears to me that what he wanted was rigidity from his students, as long as it was adhering to his way of doing things. Hermione may have sounded like she swallowed the textbook, but I think she also demonstrated that she understood what she read. I think she just wasn't good at rewriting the information into another form like some teachers like students to do to prove that they understood. Instead, I think she could prove she understood what she was spouting by her ability to practically apply her book knowledge. I think Snape was irritated when people he didn't like knew things, and irritated when they didn't know things. I think that if he had taken a dislike to Hermione, it really didn't matter what kind of student she was, he was going to treat her however he wanted.

I don't see any evidence for this at all. I think he was constantly disappointed by the ineptitude of so many students and the lack of application of most students. He certainly wanted the children to learn and designed his lessons with that aim in mind. Indeed he was a far better teacher than many others we see such as Quirrel, Lockhart, Trelawney and Umbridge.
I see evidence for it, but to each there own. I think that if "he was constantly disappointed by the ineptitude of so many students and the lack of application of most students" then he really wasn't expecting much other than irritation from his students.

I certainly hope he was better than the likes of Umbridge! I do not set the bar for acceptable teacher behavior or competence so low.

I think he was rather inclined to believe that Hermione was unlikely to break school rules.
I guess she learned him a lesson! (repeatedly)

I rather think that Snape "decided" what some child was like, and then treated them that way without regard to evidence in support or contrary. I see it with Harry, and Snape's belief that Harry was always the ringleader for troublemaking whether or not he really was. So I can see Snape deciding that Hermione was some unsufferable know-it-all for daring to try to answer his questions in the first class and interfering with his singling out of Harry, and deciding to forevermore treat her accordingly to get back at here. I think that's one thing about Snape, once he decides on a path, it is hard to shake him from his intended goal.

".... You've chosen your way, I've chosen mine."
I love Lily because she chooses a path to match her convictions, and chooses to live her life fighting for what is right. It is our choices that show who we truly are.

-- JK Rowling to Harry Potter fans at the beginning of Deathly Hallows, and James Potter to his son at the end of Deathly Hallows.
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