All Things are Created by the Mind

“There is nothing clean and nothing dirty, all things are created by the mind.” -Wonhyo

This quote is now one of my favorites.  It’s so deep and insightful and rings true in all facets of life.  In our world, as educators, we are trusted with building the minds of the future.  We focus our efforts on getting students to think deeply.  We want them to analyze questions and provide thought provoking answers.  We nurture.

As we teach, are we truly focused on the mind?  Is that something we should even be focused on.  When we teach we often use strategies that help students remember details.  When we read, we read closely to determine the answers to questions.  When we write, we produce a product that is well organized and answers the prompt.   But do we nurture the mind?  All these skills are what they require to pass the test.

But are we addressing their minds?  When we teach them to solve a math problem are we teaching them to answer the “why”?  Do they understand what the numbers represent?  When we teach them to close read, do students understand how to interpret what they are reading?  When they write, do students understand how to analyze the prompt?  Are they able to add personal voice to their writing and make it their own?  Or do they regurgitate the information from the text?

If we are not nurturing the mind, we are no teaching the whole child.  While they may do a little better on the standardized tests, they are not better prepared to face the future.

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