"Ew you’re a guy and like the color pink are you gay?"
I’ve been waiting for this post all my life
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.
Do Not Link allows skeptics to ethically link to content we wish to criticize, without unintentionally promoting it.
So you know how when you criticise an article on a horrible site like the Daily Mail and link so people can see the original page, search engines see that as “someone is interested in this page,” and activity by people criticising the page looks just like activity by people liking it? So the horrible site goes up the Google search results? And the horrible site goes “whooo, lots of hits and links, guess that article was popular” and decides to create more horrible articles like it?
When you’re linking to horrible sites, use DNL: from the user end it works like tinyurl or bit.ly, but it doesn’t give the website attention.
I was volunteering at a booksale when I ran across this and just…
Submitted to me by mrsrhettbutler
uh…those arms…you’re all thinking that, right…?
i feel like we’re all just kind of reblogging it in a circle and looking at each other uneasily like, waiting for someone to finally give in and yell it out in the reply chain
you held out as long as you could, i’m sure.
Edward Dildo-armsDOMO ARIGATO FISTO ROBOTO
I SPAT OUT MY WATER ON THE LAST COMMENT FUCK
Spoiler alert: adulthood is 96% of you going “well, I hope this is how it works and I’ll keep doing it till someone yells at me”
and the other 4% is crying
I AM SO ANGRY AT THIS
this is such an important post
“GF IS PREGO”
"glassy, jarred look"
>one night things get particularly saucy
This whole image is solid gold wordplay
I feel like very few, or at least not many of the people of tumblr are aware of what is going on in my home country Hong Kong right now.
You guys gave alot of coverage and support when Scotland was voting for its independance, so I’m hoping you’ll all support the people of Hong Kong as well.
Right now, many of us are in a mass demonstration of pro-democracy against China. But wait a sec, isn’t Hong Kong China? This is a big misconception amongst foreigners, but please, we are far from being similar to China at all.
A little history class: Hong Kong used to be colonized by the British, and before you white-knights begin going all “them damn white racist ppl taking over another asian country” please don’t. We are thankful Britain took us under its wing and instilled in us values that I feel made us what we are today; that is, a democratic people with respect for free speech, amongst many things.
On the other hand, China is communist, with government controlled media and news. Google, instagram, facebook and many tv shows are blocked in China. It really is just a few steps from North Korea imo.
So what’s the problem here? Britain unfortunately had to hand back Hong Kong to China, but one of the requirements is that Hong Kong be allowed to operate as ‘one country two systems’, meaning Hong Kong should be able to have its own democratic government. But China has broken its promise. A while back, China tried to put a mandatory ‘national education’ curriculum in all our primary schools. We all know what that is; a communist brainwashing regime. And now, they have announced that in 2017 Hong Kong will be able to vote for its president; BUT only from 3 candidates hand picked by its PRO-BEIJING legislation.
As you can see, China is trying to takeover completely and turn us into another communist state.
Of course, we have taken to the streets. In a mirror if the Tiananmen protests, students have also stepped up to fight for our rights and our future, albeit in a peaceful protest of course. But the police force who have always been a friend of the people, are now responding with force, something that had never been done before in Hong Kong.
First it was pepperspray, then teargas. Then, armed forces came in qith rubber bullets. They warn they will come out with live ammunition soon if we do not get off the streets but the people continue to sit tight, disrupting businesses China so strive to takeover and make use of. It’s been 2 days now, but the people plan to continue at least till 1st October or even beyond. The significance is that October 1st is China’s National day, not ours, Hong Kong has not been granted it’s own National day.
Please spread the news. This is a country we’re talking about. These are my people.
You can join this event to wear yellow in support of my people on October 1st.
i think we found the opposite of nash greir
Unknown (via leanarch)
this is for real, very important stuff right here
Last year, 22-time Emmy award-winning reporter John Stofflet posted this news video he created for KING-TV in 2004, featuring Paul Smith and his artistic talents.
We need you to donate to the bail fund. Cops want it depleted. Make sure it’s not!
amazing custom water/light reference tool
online perspective manager/maker
From Hong Kong to Ferguson: Justice now! Freedom now! Democracy now! Human rights now! Peace now! Equality now!