“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” — Confucius
I just finished reading “Damned Nations” by Dr. Samantha Nutt. This book is all about the various social justice issues that are taking place and how we have, so far, not dealt with some of the overriding problems that allow war, terrorism, poverty and illiteracy to breed and grow. Needless to say, what I thought might have been helping “change the world” may in fact be contributing. Nutt is one of the co-founders of War Child. This book opened my eyes and is now, on my list, of books I will recommend over and over.
This book reminded me of my incredible ignorance. I try to be world-wise, yet I am foolish to think that reading is enough.
I am plagued with this ever-present question of whether I am “smart” enough to be a teacher.
If I recognize the limitations of my own knowledge, am I equipped to help students discover their own ignorance? Because isn’t this what we ultimately are searching for? A student who understands they don’t know everything becomes a self-guided inquirer, or a self-directed learner. That’s my goal.
To improve teacher practice, do we need a teacher-wide admittance of our knowledge limitations? Will this help re-frame the classroom away from the teacher as “beacon of knowledge”?
I do want to acknowledge that I recognize the difference between information and knowledge. The difference is an important element in our media saturated world.
I know so little, yet my ignorance is an important factor in my teaching. Should it be for all?
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