How important is Learning as opposed to Teaching? Can we judge by Googling the two words? I did so and counted the number of hits returned.
Bingo… The teaching establishments are catching up with us, the people.
Over all, the number of times the word Learning appears is 1.7 times more than Teaching, having been consistently so since 1980 – but it was not always. In 1970, the ratio was .8. This means that learning was only half as important as teaching then. (For the year-specific searches, I used Google Scholar, which contains ‘lay’ as well as academic writings).
Then I tried searching the Melvyl catalog (for World-wide libraries for academic writing) in the UCLA library for the frequency of appearance of these two words. Here, the scale tipped in 2000, when the number of times the two words appeared was the same. Before that Learning consistently appeared only about half as often as Teaching. In 2009 (the latest full year), I found the number of time the word Learning occurred 1.6 times more frequently than Teaching, roughly the same as the general Google search.
So, as it stands now, based on my simple (or simplistic) statistical model, both Google and world-wide libraries contain approximately 1.6 times more writings about learning than about teaching.
Is there any significance to this trend? Has learning become more important? And what’s so important about that?
I am working on an article about it – there’s major difference between teaching and learning!