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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Tea

Pippi and Artemi with their mommies at preschool this morning. My face glows with sunscreen.

Reading a fascinating paper on genius by Ray McDermott. How genius has been defined throughout western history and what it means now (not a lot). It has become a commodity--an artificial way of separating a few from the masses. The idea of genius has been rejected in modern society except by institutions such as schools. Institutions that celebrate the failure of many and the success of a few. My view is that we've even designed test that help the few "prove" their theory of genius: I Q tests. The truth is that I Q tests, evaluate social status more than anything else. In America, only 10% of students graduate beyond grade 10 math. That means, the nation is celebrating the failure of 90% of its students. By categorizing children as geniuses and dunces, we have built a warped world of education. One that does not measure true learning nor true intelligence.
We as parents are all guilty of wanting our little geniuses to rise above the pack of the masses. In fueling this competitive desire, we are robbing youth of real learning. Why is this acceptable? Because it is Ok to say only a few are geniuses in our current society, yet not Ok to categorize youth by other methods of false "superiority"such as race, sex etc.
A fascinating read. And yes, I am guilty, bragging about Mistaya's entrance into honours math. Although in my defense, there are sexism issues I am dealing with too. I am so sick of girls being told they are not good at math. It is BS! My girls are all math whizzes, so there! I was good at math too yet my high school teacher refused to believe it. If I ever got 100% he would nit-pick and try to find a step where I didn't show in my work and dock me a point. And if I handed in my test first (before my classmates), he always gave it back to me, saying I couldn't possibly be done and check it over again. With that kind of support it is no wonder by grade 12 I fell asleep in math class!
Guilty as charged on all counts of bragging and trying to rise above the masses lol.
-Will drop my big girls off at piano, Pip off with nanny Hilary and then speed to UBC in time to see Peter get his teaching award (the second year in a row)--I can't get away from celebrating the few above the masses...the biases run deep... but truthfully I go for the free appies and drinks.

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