The Magnitude of Our Calling
The last two posts are more than merely humorously anecdotal, they illustrate some of the challenges we face as teachers. According to psychologists (I don’t have a reference), the area of the human brain that houses critical thinking does not mature fully until around age 25. This means that we are teaching critical thinking to human beings who are still biologically developing the ability to think critically. Like every area of development, some mature earlier and some later, which is why there can seem to be such a disparity in the intellectual maturity of our students. There are so many implications to this that I cannot hope to go into, but it is humbling and awe-inspiring to think that we are playing a critical role in the biological development of our students’ brains, not just their minds, not just some subject matter.
We consider them adults, but they are not as fully grown as we (or they!) may assume. How might this change our approach to teaching/mentoring?