Studies of epistemology, the process of learning, suggest that the patterns of grief are one way of describing the basic patterns of integrating new information that conflicts with previous beliefs.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." said Arthur Schopenhauer of the learning process, which corresponds to the five stages of grief with denial being ridicule, opposition being anger and bargaining, and acceptance being depression and acceptance.
Wow. Could it be that one reason teaching is such an incredibly difficult profession is that, in inviting students to learn, we are inviting them into a process that, if successful, will catalyze grief? And perhaps students know this, and so they resist the seemingly violent intrusion upon their psychological security that true education involves?