Presuming Competence

When interviewing students about their strategies and techniques when it appears they may be struggling, have an open mind. With that be asking questions and trying to find out what exactly is going on through the student’s work and explanations. When you have an open mind you are opening your understand of the student as a mathematical thinker. We should always presume competence. Presuming Competence, what is this exactly?

Presuming Competence means that we should always assume a person has the capacity to think, learn, and understand – even if you don’t see any tangible evidence that such is the case.

It is also very important to connect to the student’s thinking. Connecting with the student will push them toward new directions, and show them that it is okay to try new strategies, as well as how important it is for success to fail. No one ever gets anywhere without failing at least once. This type of understanding is almost like a work of art.

“and the art of working with students should always be centered on building off their own brilliance.”

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