Saturday, July 21, 2007

Scrambled messages

You know how one of the challenges we face in the provision of learning is to ensure that the message doesn't get scrambled in transition? Well, here is a little anecdote to illustrate just how easily it happens.

Last night, over dinner, my husband mentioned something to do with Wyatt Earp. My elder son asked, "What's a wire turp?" My younger son asked - complete with hilarious mime - if a "wire twerp" was the guy who twists the barbs around barbed wire. It all took less time that it has taken me to type this paragraph and had me crying with laughter.

Even today I occasionally bump up against something I completely misunderstood somewhere along the way in both my formal and informal learning, and find myself wondering how I came to such a ludicrous conclusion and then managed to bury it where subsequent evidence to contrary failed to reach it. I wonder if a few well-placed questions might have identified my misconceptions in time to straighten them out before they became so well bedded down.

Just because a person thinks they have understood something is no guarantee that they have!

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