*university voice* unfortunately… we have too much money… so we have to raise tuition so we can build a place to keep all the other money in… so sorry unavoidable
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.
This hat has cat ears! The ears are part of the hat, not sewn on separately. Made of knitting wool. Currently on sale for just $4.36 with FREE SHIPPING at Amazon!
Uh…I just purchased this. Like right now.
Love this!!! @nubianskin does lingerie in NUDE shades for all skin tones!!
THANK YOU! Proper use of Nude… Shades for all skin tones!
Nude is not some single tone light beige!
… How beautiful is this!
Never be afraid to apologize to your child. If you lose your temper and say something in anger that wasn’t meant to be said, apologize. Children need to know that adults can admit when they are wrong.
American Humane Society (via maninsun)
This is so, so important.
SHONDA RHIMES - SCREENWRITER, DIRECTOR, AND PRODUCER, creator of hit TV shows such as “Scandal” (ABC), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Private Practice” (ABC), and the forthcoming TV show “How to Get Away with Murder,” starring Viola Davis, which will premiere on ABC on September 25, 2014.
She also wrote screenplays for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) starring Halle Berry, Crossroads (2001) starring Britney Spears, and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) starring Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway.
In 2007, she was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 people who help shape the world. She has been nominated and/or won a few awards including Golden Globe, NAACP’s Image Award, Emmy, Black Reel Award, and WGA Award by the Writers Guild of America.
She also runs her own production company, ShondaLand, which produces the tv shows that ABC has picked up for airing rights.
The Los Angles Times just published a new article, hailing her for building a TV empire in spite of white men running Hollywood.
As someone who wants to study the human consciousness I found this very interesting.
Scott Routley was a “vegetable”. A car accident seriously injured both sides of his brain, and for 12 years, he was completely unresponsive.
Unable to speak or track people with his eyes, it seemed that Routley was unaware of his surroundings, and doctors assumed he was lost in limbo. They were wrong.
In 2012, Professor Adrian Owen decided to run tests on comatose patients like Scott Routley. Curious if some “vegetables” were actually conscious, Owen put Routley in an fMRI and told him to imagine walking through his home. Suddenly, the brain scan showed activity. Routley not only heard Owen, he was responding.
Next, the two worked out a code. Owen asked a series of “yes or no” questions, and if the answer was “yes,” Routley thought about walking around his house. If the answer was “no,” Routley thought about playing tennis.
These different actions showed activity different parts of the brain. Owen started off with easy questions like, “Is the sky blue?” However, they changed medical science when Owen asked, “Are you in pain?” and Routley answered, “No.” It was the first time a comatose patient with serious brain damage had let doctors know about his condition.
While Scott Routley is still trapped in his body, he finally has a way to reach out to the people around him. This finding has huge implications.
HOLY STEAMING SHITFUCKS
WHY IS EVERYONE NOT LOSING THEIR SHIT ABOUT THIS
What a fucking nightmare, just kill me.
I know a girl who was hit by a drunk driver and in that state for a year. When she woke up the first thing she did was tell off the doctor who tried to convince her mom to pull the plug. She heard *everything* while being called brain dead.
OH MY FUCK
Potioneers sometimes have need of “claws” such as these in order to more easily manipulate small and delicate ingredients and protect themselves against those which are dangerous but still require extreme delicacy, which cannot be achieved while wearing a glove. Some wix have beautifully ornate sets of “claws” crafted for them.
Like fiery eyeball thing, no problem. But don’t even try to imagine a Samoan elf. (x)