Saturday, March 5, 2011

Damn! I thought I knew that!

I don’t know, but I like to think that the sentence “Damn! I thought I knew that!” is a kind of child, or grandchild of that one students use to answer to their moms: “Yes, mom.” when they ask the children: “Did you study for the test?”

We know, as parents and teachers that, most of the times, our children and our students are conscious that they really didn’t enough study for the test, and the final mark, in fact, is absolutely no surprise, neither for students, neither for parents; but sometimes it is really a surprise for everyone.
Some students have always been good students, always having good school marks, always preparing the tests in a satisfying manner. They also answer moms they've already enough studied. It’s why the moment teachers give them back the work with the negative evaluation is their turn to become completely stuck with the unexpected school mark. 
I really believe this kind of learning situations is relative, no matter if in a very far degree, of that one Ken Robinson tells us in the very beginning of his “The Element”:
A few years ago, I heard a wonderful story, which I'm very fond of telling. An elementary school teacher was giving a drawing class to a group of six-year-old children. At the back of the classroom sat a little girl who normally didn't pay much attention in school. In the drawing class she did. For more than twenty minutes, the girl sat with her arms curled around her paper, totally absorbed in what she was doing. The teacher found this fascinating. Eventually, she asked the girl what she was drawing. Without looking up, the girl said, 'I'm drawing a picture of God.' Surprised, the teacher said, 'But nobody knows what God looks like.' The girl said, 'They will in a minute.' I love this story because it reminds us that young children are wonderfully confident in their own imaginations. [The underline stands for our responsibility] Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up. Ask a class of first graders which of them thinks they're creative and they'll all put their hands up. Ask a group of college seniors this same question and most of them won't. I believe passionately that we are all born with tremendous natural capacities, and that we lose touch with many of them as we spend more time in the world. Ironically, one of the main reasons this happens is education. The result is that too many people never connect with their true talents and therefore don't know what they're really capable of achieving. In that sense, they don't know who they really are. in Robinson, K. and Aronica, L. (2009). The element. How finding your passion changes everything, p. xi. New York: Penguin Group.

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