Thursday, February 24, 2011

Three little words make all the difference

Which are the three most important words in any human language? 'I don't know'.

Which are the next three most important words in any human language? 'Let's* find out'.

At this point of human intellectual development, we've encapsulated the total cognitive objectives of primary and secondary school. If the kiddies can prove that they can recall all the facts they've been told about the world, they get a pat on the head and can move on to JC.

At JC, they learn the next three most important words in any human language: 'I don't believe'.

The shock for the kiddies when they arrive at our doorstep is that everything they'd learnt before may be a lie. Or at least, as far as GP is concerned, that they should treat everything that purports to be non-fiction (including their own textbooks) with a dose of healthy skepticism.

This step is key to significant intellectual development for JC kids because it unlocks new brain capacities, helping them to approach their studies as inquirers and testers of knowledge seeking understanding, rather than as mindless information sponges nearing saturation.

To understand leads us to the next three most important words, 'I got it!' After which the next level would then be, 'Let's work together'. If they can get to this stage of mental preparation, they're ready to benefit from uni education.

Sadly, many of our undergrads enter uni still thinking like secondary school students, their two years spent in GP notwithstanding. I wonder why?

*I'll accept concatenations as a single word

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