I think I essentially disagree. If we look at stealing understanding as simply copying and then stopping, then I would agree somewhat, but I think one of the keys to this concept is the idea of actively applying what someone else already actively applies. The thing I personally like most about the idea of "stealing" the understanding is that it places the impetus of learning where I think it belongs: on the student. Having a good teacher is important and very helpful, but ultimately the responsibility of the learning is on the learner.
Rather than merely copying what the teacher says to do, it invites the student to observe and explore their own understanding through observation/feeling, which I think is invaluable.
I've taken a lot of classes on how to be a teacher and one of the things which got reinforced was the idea that a good teacher teaches a student how to learn. The passing on of content is almost always of secondary importance on the whole because it's dependant upon the quality of learning performed by the learner.
Hi Mathew, I agree. When I mention stealing as copying I mean copying physically or copying data for you cannot copy understanding as that comes through the student studying, applying and learning as you say.