This woman deserves a round of applause and a throne of gold. This is the most realistic & amazing thing for someone to say for this generation of students. I wasn’t able to go to college this year because my parents can’t afford to send me and I had every scholarship, grant, loan known to man and it still wouldn’t work. Finally someone gets it!
WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR PEOPLE TO REALIZE THIS?!
SO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES EITHER PAY FOR THEIR POPULATIONS’ EDUCATION OR JUST WRITE OFF THE BILL IF DOESN’T GET PAID FOR.
THE WAY THE AMERICAN EDUCATION SYSTEM WORKS IS BACKWARDS AND MANGLED.
Paloma Noyola: The Face of Mexico’s Unleashed Potential
When a report emerged in September 2012 that a girl from one of Matamoros’ poorest neighborhoods had attained the highest math score in Mexico, some doubted its veracity. It must be fake, they said.
But it wasn’t fake. Her name is Paloma Noyola, and what most reports failed to mention is that almost all of her classmates also scored very high on the national math test. 10 scored in the 99.99% percentile.
Paloma and her classmates also scored in the top percentile in language. Something special was happening at José Urbina López primary school in Matamoros, and Wired went to take a look.
The high test scores turned out to be the work of a young teacher who also came from humble beginnings. Sergio Juárez Correa was tired of the monotony of teaching out of a book and wanted to try something new to help engage his students when he came across the work of Sugata Mitra, a UK university professor who had innovated a new pedagogy he called SOLE, or self organized learning environments. The new approach paid off.
Although SOLE usually relies on unfettered Internet access for research, Juárez and his students had very limited access. Somehow, he still found a way to apply Mitra’s teachings and unleash their potential.
From the beginning, Paloma’s exceptional abilities were evident:
One day Juárez Correa went to his whiteboard and wrote “1 = 1.00.” Normally, at this point, he would start explaining the concept of fractions and decimals. Instead he just wrote “½ = ?” and “¼ = ?”
“Think about that for a second,” he said, and walked out of the room.
While the kids murmured, Juárez went to the school cafeteria, where children could buy breakfast and lunch for small change. He borrowed about 10 pesos in coins, worth about 75 cents, and walked back to his classroom, where he distributed a peso’s worth of coins to each table. He noticed that Paloma had already written .50 and .25 on a piece of paper.
As Mr. Juárez implemented more of Mitra’s teachings in his classroom, Paloma continued to stand out as an exceptionally gifted student:
Juárez Correa was impressed. But he was even more intrigued by Paloma. During these experiments, he noticed that she almost always came up with the answer immediately. Sometimes she explained things to her tablemates, other times she kept the answer to herself. Nobody had told him that she had an unusual gift. Yet even when he gave the class difficult questions, she quickly jotted down the answers. To test her limits, he challenged the class with a problem he was sure would stump her. He told the story of Carl Friedrich Gauss, the famous German mathematician, who was born in 1777.
When Gauss was a schoolboy, one of his teachers asked the class to add up every number between 1 and 100. It was supposed to take an hour, but Gauss had the answer almost instantly.
“Does anyone know how he did this?” Juárez Correa asked.
A few students started trying to add up the numbers and soon realized it would take a long time. Paloma, working with her group, carefully wrote out a few sequences and looked at them for a moment. Then she raised her hand.
“The answer is 5,050,” she said. “There are 50 pairs of 101.”
Juárez Correa felt a chill. He’d never encountered a student with so much innate ability. He squatted next to her and asked why she hadn’t expressed much interest in math in the past, since she was clearly good at it.
“Because no one made it this interesting,” she said.
Although this Wired piece focuses mostly on Sugata Mitra, it does once again highlight the story of Paloma Noyola. Unfortunately, after a brief spurt of media attention, little on Paloma was ever mentioned and, as was pointed out by Wired, nothing was ever said of Mr. Juárez.
As with most stories in the Mexican press — and those popular with the middle-class — things suddenly become very important once it’s featured in a gringo publication. Which is a very sad commentary. We hope, however, that this story pushes those in the press, state and federal government to look not to the United States for validation but to Mexicans like Sergio Juárez doing good work in places like Matamoros.
The clear message in this story is that there are thousands of Paloma Noyolas going to school in Mexico who, just like her at one time, are not being challenged and therefore aren’t very interested in school. This story can, if we want it to, raise enough awareness to shift the discussion from poverty to opportunity.
Paloma truly personifies both Mexico’s challenges and unleashed potential.
Read the entire Wired story here: How a Radical New Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses
Editor’s note: As an addendum, Wired provided information on helping support Sugata Mitra and his School in the Clouds project, and although they donated school supplies and equipment to José Urbina López School, we’re interested in seeing if we can help set up a similar fund for Sergio Juárez, the teacher featured in this story.
Also, $9,300 was raised to help fund Paloma’s education last year. We’re going to follow up with the economist who led the fundraising campaign to see how she’s doing. Stay tuned for the updates.
you kids these days with your rapidly growing concern for the state of the world and your knowledge of important issues at increasingly younger ages despite having been told your opinions don’t matter by the adults who put you in these situations
so lately ive been really obsessed with political cartoons for some reason
BUT LOOK AT THESE
IT IS AMAZING HOW SOMETHING SO SIMPLE CAN HOLD SO MUCH MEANING AND TRUTH
This teaches a very bad, very false lesson: that success in work mostly depends on natural talent. Unfortunately, when you are a professional writer, you are competing with all the other kids who were at the top of their English classes. Your stuff may not—indeed, probably won’t—be the best anymore.
If you’ve spent most of your life cruising ahead on natural ability, doing what came easily and quickly, every word you write becomes a test of just how much ability you have, every article a referendum on how good a writer you are. As long as you have not written that article, that speech, that novel, it could still be good. Before you take to the keys, you are Proust and Oscar Wilde and George Orwell all rolled up into one delicious package. By the time you’re finished, you’re more like one of those 1940’s pulp hacks who strung hundred-page paragraphs together with semicolons because it was too much effort to figure out where the sentence should end."
The Why Writing Is So Hard field of psychology is very interesting to me.
gpoy. fuck “natural talent” in its eyeball.
I had natural talent. And I am the worst procrastinator. Fortunately, there are Deadlines.
I think I’d read this before, but this part just grabbed me:
“The kids who race ahead in the readers without much supervision get praised for being smart,” says Dweck. “What are they learning? They’re learning that being smart is not about overcoming tough challenges. It’s about finding work easy. When they get to college or graduate school and it starts being hard, they don’t necessarily know how to deal with that.”
That was me, through and through, and I’m not even a millenial.
“The kids who race ahead in the readers without much supervision get praised for being smart,” says Dweck. “What are they learning? They’re learning that being smart is not about overcoming tough challenges. It’s about finding work easy.”
::sighs in recognition::
Talent is not enough. You have to put in the work, too.
How many people who studied any hard sciences are being asked to work for free?
Writing is a skill and writing is work.
You deserve to be paid for it.
You hear that all you college students following me
You deserve to be paid for any labor you generate.
I was driving past a business here in the Houston Heights, when I glimpsed this painted on the side of the building. I recognized that iconic WWII poster before I realized it was not just any woman, but 14 year old Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was attacked for wanting an education. The words next to her are her quote, ( “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school.) All I want is education. And I’m afraid of no one.”
(at the Avis Frank Gallery, 1606 White Oak Dr., Houston, TX 77009)
Requiring students to learn about race is crucial… necessary even. But I also think it’s necessary that we tell students very directly that their coursework alone won’t earn them any social justice gold stars. We need to be more explicit when establishing safe spaces in classrooms where race is being discussed: ”safe spaces” should not mean spaces where students can say racist things and be absolved of blame. They should be safe spaces for marginalized voices. White guilt, white tears, and white saviorism have no place in these classrooms. We need to teach students not to just understand what the master’s tools and the master’s house are, but what they mean.
Most of all, we need to recognize the limitations of academics. We need to teach students to listen, to be vulnerable and admit fault. Academics can fuel action. I consider all of my friends to be fiercely intelligent. They’re thoughtful and well-educated, and profess to be progressive. But some of them are also the kind of people who remain silent over Israel’s attacks on Gaza, worried that speaking out could hurt their job prospects. Because American individualism seems to be one lesson universities struggle to unteach.
A degree can’t be used as proof that you “understand my struggle.” A degree can’t be used as a shield against criticism. Most of all, a degree can’t be used as a weapon to invalidate my lived experiences. How can a piece of paper on a wall weigh more than the burden I carry just for existing as a woman of color? Your degree counts for something, but it’s not enough."
- "I Have a Cultural Studies Degree" is the new "I Have Black Friends" by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya (via queer-filam-artivism)
This is a summary of college only using two pictures; expensive as hell.
That’s my Sociology “book”. In fact what it is is a piece of paper with codes written on it to allow me to access an electronic version of a book. I was told by my professor that I could not buy any other paperback version, or use another code, so I was left with no option other than buying a piece of paper for over $200. Best part about all this is my professor wrote the books; there’s something hilariously sadistic about that. So I pretty much doled out $200 for a current edition of an online textbook that is no different than an older, paperback edition of the same book for $5; yeah, I checked. My mistake for listening to my professor.
This is why we download.
Spreading this shit like nutella because goddamn textbooks are so expensive.
not necessarily art related but as someone who couldn’t afford their textbooks this semester this is a godsend
REBLOGGING because after a little digging, I found my $200 textbook for free in PDF form.
friendly reminder that this exists since I know we’re all going back to college soon
Will reblog every time I see it.
It always amuses me when people bring up the fact that girls and women now excel more in schools and universities than boys and men as some bullshit example of misandry.
You have one group of people who are told from infancy that the world will be handed to them on a silver platter, that they will excel in the job, kill the dragon, save the world and get the girl, and are owed all that and nothing less than that…
And then you have another group of people who learn early on that they have to be twice as impressive to receive half as much respect, that they can never afford to be anything other than their best or they’ll be proving the stereotypes about their group right, that they don’t have room for mistakes, that the only way they’ll have respect, power and independence in this world is if they go out and carpe diem that shit.
Gee, I wonder which group would have the better work ethic.
I try and bring up how he ruined free in state tuition in the name of hippie bashing when he was California’s governor often, but don’t exactly have the biggest platform.
"Worst of all, these students’ sense of the future is constrained by planning for and then paying down their student loans, often for decades. Economists are waking up to the fact that when young Americans enter the workforce burdened with over a trillion dollars in cumulative debt, they become risk averse, unwilling to move, less able to make major purchases, and slower to become homeowners. Not coincidentally, they don’t feel safe enough to register any major protests against the society that’s done this to them.”
Wait, wait, wait, I have an amazing new idea. How about we fix the American school system.
girls being kept out of the sciences and pushed into the humanities; the humanities being valued less in our society than the sciences; and the humanities and sciences being looked at as stark opposites that couldn’t possibly be enjoyed for the same reasons are all problems that need to in some degree be tackled together