Leonard Cooper’s Genius And What He Represents [Future of Teaching]

This is an excerpt from my latest offering at the Future of Teaching blog:

Is it because so many either sympathize or empathize with a story about a kid who, already perceived as unintelligent due to his mannerisms, actually beats the competition? Is it because some of us have a very limited understanding of “knowledge” or what an educated person looks like? Do we still perceive intelligent as natural to some and exceptional in others?

Leonard Cooper represents the potential of all children to transcend the perceptions already laid upon them. How people see his early follies and his manner of speech mattered little at the end when, after working twice as hard for those remaining minutes, felt like he had nothing to lose. He represents the kid in the math class who, despite his best efforts, won’t ever get past a B because he was already estimated for a B and nothing more. He represents the kids who comes after school every day, but she won’t see a certificate for her efforts because she didn’t get a good grade on the one day her teacher was grading effort.

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Mr. Vilson, who is about this education life …

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