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Sometimes it’s best to just shut up

May 29, 2013

As I may have said previously, from time to time I notice themes in my tutoring week.

Periodically I have students to whom I introduce new topics. At least three times recently, I have given the barest outline of the aim (e.g. “Where’s the ‘middle’ of this set of numbers?”), and they would pretty much figure out the common sense way to get to what was needed. One of them even pointed out one of the edge cases, where slightly different processing is required. And more than once it has been something quite sophisticated, like matrix multiplication.

These are not necessarily people at the top of their class. Nevertheless, their insights were at times above what I expected of them, or even would expect of most.

So, whenever I get the opportunity, I’m going to let them develop the theory.

I’ll just shut up.

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