Amazingly – there is always a teenager within us – the one with a swagger and a bravado: “Only dumb need to be told the same thing in a class twice…”
How did I notice that? – Observing my own
son. He is 13 now and finally his studies at school begin to go beyond
elementary. He is a bright kid and until this year his school work was a breeze
– he was mostly getting A’s without much sweat (Ok, I admit – art and music are
not his favorites – but I guess that’s hereditary J). But lately the level of curriculum complexity went up to the
extent that sometimes he actually needs an effort to get a deeper grasp
That’s where our positions began to differ quite dramatically – I was happy to see him entering the realm of proper learning whilst he was somewhat upset…
My first reaction was predictable – I just thought that he was in opposition to a ‘burden’ of harder intellectual work, and obviously ‘extra hard work’ is not exactly the easiest thing to sell to your teenage offspring…
However, once I started to dig deeper trying to improve his learning skills, I stumbled upon some insights that I find quite intriguing.
I think that by looking back at those formative school years – there are valuable lessons to be learned for most of us grown-ups as well.
What began as a parental duty, eventually unfolded into a quest about the way we acquire learning skills and use them throughout different facets of our lives.
Let me get back to the opening line of this post – loosely quoting from my son: “Only dumb kids need to have the class material repeated to them (twice or more) – smart ones get it quick …”
His words really struck me.
I suddenly got an insight on why so many of you expect us to teach new things all the time, and why any attempts to go over the material that was introduced earlier meet such a strong resistance.