Thursday, January 27, 2011

How do I show a tween he doesn't know it all?

Ms. Dorothy,
My boy is in 5th grade, and he is convinced that he knows everything. How do I show this hard-headed young man that every day is a new learning experience and an opportunity?
-"Gifted" Mom

It seems that his Gifted and Talented label has gone to his hard head.  

Perhaps you could show him the difference between learning things quickly and easily, and already knowing.  

Pick something that he has never done before, like flying a biplane, and ask him to teach you how. When he can't, ask if he will research it with you. Look up information about the plane, and let him read up about it till he can explain how it works. Then point out how this was new material that he learned.

Then ask him to teach you how to tie a shoe. 

The two are completely different experiences.

Already knowing is what you do once you have learned. But to learn, you have to first admit that you don't already know, and then go get the information.  

"Giftedness" is about the disposition to learn. Without that, he is just knowledgeable.

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