In some cultures, there is an expression of "spoon feeding" type of instruction, where the teacher shows how to do steps to a problem, and then students are assigned minor variants thereof. There is little to no critical thinking. (One could debate what exactly constitutes spoon feeding and that all instruction has varying levels of spoon feeding, but that is not my question). My question is, is the usage of the term inappropriate, offensive? Infantilizing? Insensitive to people with disabilities (I am actually recently disabled myself so am increasingly aware of the issue)? What could be some replacement language?
"Spoon feeding only teaches you the shape of the spoon" is a quote my 80 year old father told me he was taught in school, but times have changed (for the better I will say) of what constitutes acceptable discourse. Based on an online search it seems the quote is due to E.M. Forster: “Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.”
For context, this is about helping students make the jump from calculus and below-type books to upper level courses (not just proofs, but that is typical setting) where the book does not necessarily show you how to do problems on the homework, but students have to think, understand definitions. A search of the term on this site reveals several questions using the terminology.
Not sure if math educators is an appropriate site for this question, or I should try another stack exchange site (academia? suggestion welcome)