Utne Reader August 98

greenspun.com : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

The Art of Genius

Geniuses come up with different ideas by not giving up and always looking for numerous and unordinary ways to solve a problem. The willingness to explore as many options or alternative solutions as possible helps them solve difficult problems. Genius even though they've been taught to do something one way will look at many different options in their endeavors allowing them to shift paradigms. Geniuses find something that interest them and take the subject/object and problem to a higher level of education. Creativity is something that Geniuses do not lack. It seems that they cause something to happen when they are not expecting it. Creativity is something that we need to incorporate into our curriculms to let students who have a specific intent to pursue that area in their own manner. Today we are more concerned about test score standards and paper and pencil activities; we need to incorporate more hands on activities and munilipatives in a class room. Students need some freedom in how they solve problems. There is always more than one way to solve a problem. Our own minds as teachers must be open to the possibility that the usual or textbook answer may not be the only solution. Let a student have a choice on the book/topic being covered in class so they have an interest to pursue. I believe we use to much paper and pencil to determine what level of knowledge a student may be at. We need to start looking at a variety of different ways in assessing students, such as by observation presentations, assignments based on students interests. Maybe our standards need to be raised to expect more high quality work from students. In order for this to take place school must be interesting and encouragement is needed from the teacher. Not only must a classroom be open to creativity, new ideas, and individualism but so must the home of the child. More is needed to stimulate and activate the mind besides TV. Books, games, and activities can be ways to motivate a child to find the genius in them. I need to be open to the possibility that although a student may not be at the top of the class he/she is far from being considered "slow. Students need the chance to express themselves, their interests and knowledge in ways compatable to their thinking. There may be one or maybe more geniuses in every classroom. In my own classroom I have a student who gets average grades and takes no interest in reading or spelling but when it comes time for science experiments this student can answere any question and questions me. I believe that everyone can be considered a genius in an area of interestto them. This must be remembered before labeling a child slow or average as far as school work goes.

-- Anonymous, January 04, 1999

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