<Ned> Front Porch
Comment by Linda Nowakowski
I haven't given up on this conversation. In fact it has been the center of my thoughts this week as I have been working on a 2 day work shop to try to help the students in my program learn to think "strategically". We will be spending all day Sat and Sunday playing games that will hopefully teach them some problem solving strategies that can be applied outside of games.
I was talking last evening with my Thai teacher about having mentors for the students who are outside the culture, where people might feel more free breaking "rules" and she thought about it for a while (like through our entire 2 hour class and at the end, before she left, she said she was thinking that that might be the trick for Thai students.
Dan made a point that I would like to put a slightly different turn on. I was the first person in my family to graduate from high school. One of the first investments my family made though was a set of encyclopedias. As I was growing up, when I would ask a question, my mother would make my questions valuable. We would go and find the answer (I think maybe even when she KNEW the answer) so that I learned how to find information. And she would ask me questions to help me refine my inquiry. She wasn't an educated woman (formally) but she was wise and I think mostly, she wanted the best for me. The people helping these children don't have to have long CVs with formal education. They just have to want to help someone grow. Maybe, in fact, it isnot the education or the method so much as the concern that makes it all work.
OK...off to a day of Towers of Hanoi, Clue, Mastermind, Sudoku and thinking out of the box.
PS - a reminder for myself to come back to Dawn's point about how religion fits in because I am totally convinced now tat its power is completely underestimated. Buddhists don't approach much of anything from the same direction as Christians and the differences in perspective provide unique challenges for inter-cultural dialog.