Friday, March 27, 2009

Reflecting on Wisdom

I began 2009 with a TED presentation that started a personal reflection on Wisdom. For some members of my family, 2009 has been a cross roads - a crucial time to move forward with integrity, dignity and a monumental amount of wisdom. It has been a time of confusion and has seemed like the days have been dragging through the mud.

Today I found this quote from the publisher of Guy Claxton's book "Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind - How intelligence increases when you think less" - and I just love it and it seems to fit. I also love that this is something we can bring to our classrooms...

"We assume that the quick-thinking " hare brain" will beat out the slower Intuition of the " tortoise mind." However, now research in cognitive science is changing this understanding of the human mind. It suggests that patience and confusion--rather than rigor and certainty--are the essential precursors of wisdom."

How often do we ask a question of a group of children. Instantly hands go up (sometimes before you have even asked the question) and we respond by randomly calling the name of a child. How much time have we given the group to think? The chosen child 'Uhmm's', bends their head, picks at their toes while the whole group wait. Then we pass them over, maybe even saying "if you don't know don't put your hand up", and choose the person who is high on their knees, pushing their arm into the sky, bursting with the desire to share what they KNOW....

...But what words of wisdom have we missed from the child, temporarily grappling with their bubble of confusion, trying to tap into their limited vocabulary, to express some profound revelation?

If anyone has read Claxton's book on "Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind", I would love to hear some authentic reviews.

No comments: