Consider a final case study

Consider a final case study: Keshon is a new form 4 student who has loved reading and narrating up through the forms. He is writing or typing narrations with ease and growing length and depth. His relationship with nature is strong and he enjoys making discoveries outside. He is starting algebra this year. He starts his first disciplinary science study and is reading the physics chapters. He is going along narrating but then gets to the questions at the end of the chapter and realizes that he doesn’t remember the details or the specifics of how to do the computational problems. He is overwhelmed and frustrated at the depth of the content. He comes to you and says that the physics book is too hard and that he doesn’t like it. What do you do? Take some time to brainstorm some possible next steps in your notebook. 

Form 4 students are transitioning into highschool level work and are taking the next step of using books as Mason describes in School Education pp.180-181. Here she is helping us understand that reading and narrating by giving the overview or gist of the section is just the first step in using books. In the case of this physics text we are transitioning into the “other ways of using books” that she outlines. Keshon may need to copy diagrams and explain them to you or in his written narrations. He may need to read sections of the text aloud and narrate orally to you at first and then move to narrating silently to himself as he gets comfortable. He will need to go back into the chapter and reread sections that the questions at the end of the chapter revealed were more complex than he understood with a single reading. He may have to outline the steps of a process or copy down the steps of a computation in order to grapple with more complex ideas. And he may have to be encouraged to be comfortable with giving it his best effort and gaining what understanding that he can now, realizing that God’s laws of the universe are not simply mastered in an introductory text. There are wonders and mysteries to explore for generations! Your job as the teacher is to set the questions and computations that are needed for Keshon to grow in his understanding of the discipline of physics helping him to see that new ways of reading are needed to read new types of books. Your enthusiasm will do much to ease the transition as he sees that he can be successful. What may initially be thought of as “too hard” can quickly turn to the joy of tackling more complex problems and the satisfaction of peering into some of the unseen foundations of the natural world. These growing skills of reading higher level books will be transferable and necessary across all the subject areas of the upper forms.