Arguably, human beings have been so successful as a species because of their ability to pass on important information, skills and learning, to their offspring and to others.
Still, many thousands of years later, we are still working out how to do this most efficiently.
Whether it's learning something from scratch, or upping performance of something already practiced, it usually takes an objective 'other' to teach you new stuff, or perhaps better, show you how to improve yourself. Of course, the other important half of the equation is that you yourself must want to learn, or think there is something unknown out there in the universe that you want.
Big thing is, you don't know what you don't know. You may know THAT you don't know ... but you probably have no idea what that knowing will feel like until you actually experience it, so on some level you have to trust that the teacher you have chosen will take you in the direction you expected, or at least towards something worthy, however unexpected the journey might be.
As a child you go to school and have little choice in who your teachers are, as an adult, however, you can choose for yourself, and change teachers if you do not connect with them, or what you are learning at the time.
Part of this connection is to do with your personality and how it connects with the teacher's method, or to the teacher's own personality.
Part of the connection will be to the material, the style and the context the learning takes place in.
Part of it is also timing - You can meet the best, most highly skilled and qualified teacher, with the best reputation, but if your paths connect at an inappropriate time in your training, you may be so out of your depth, afraid, embarrassed, closed minded, or not know what you are looking at, that you never get anything out of the encounter.
There is a saying that it takes 3 years for a student to find a teacher, and 10 years for a teacher to find a student. Whether this is numerically accurate is debatable, but the basic feeling behind the saying does ring true, and again goes back to a searching for connection - personal, material, timing.
But if passing on knowledge is so dependent of these things, are there some absolutes that hold true regardless?
Do certain teaching paradigms create similar problems in students? Or do those problems vary based on the individual?
Are there highly efficient ways of teaching that only a few can grasp? Can those that fail/drop out learn the same material another way? Or are they just not cut out to perform in this field?
Are all people 'teachable'? Should they be? Should the method vary enough to encompass as many folks as possible? Or should the method focus on excellence in the few, regardless of failure rate?
ARE there commonalities to all good teaching? Teachers? Methods?
Should the method be as 'fast' as possible? Or should it be a 'lifetime study'?