Dennis Prager: Repetition Is The Mother Of Pedagogy

I’ve attended many a Dennis Prager lecture or listened to a Dennis Prager radio show and over the course of a couple of hours heard not a new thought. He repeats himself over and over, which diminishes enthusiasm for his work among those of us who listened to him carefully the first 25 times he made the point. I’ve found that when I buy a Dennis Prager lecture, I’m lucky if 25% of the content is new (and most of that 25% is not unique to Dennis Prager as he is primarily a synthesizer and popularizer of other people’s ideas rather than an original thinker).

In a lecture on Deut. 12 (circa 2004), Dennis said: “He [Moshe] is simply repeating himself. He’s a teacher. Repetition is the mother of pedagogy.

“I feel that if I repeat a point on the radio or in a lecture, that I am cheating the audience. There’s a voice in me that says, ‘Dennis, every time you open your mouth, you have to make a new point. They’ve already heard this one.’ May I say to you that is about the stupidest voice in my life and it took me many years to realize that.

“You can make the most profound point since Confucius set foot on earth, and within 20 minutes, 99% of people who heard it will forget it… I’ll never affect anybody if all I do is bring new points every time I talk.”

“Any of you who are parents, how many times did you say to your children? There’s no doubt that if you are a decent parent, it is in the many thousands. I am sure I have said it more than 10,000 times.”



About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been chronicled by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, 60 Minutes and Entertainment Tonight. I teach Alexander Technique in Los Angeles (see
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