November 20th, 2016
On page 5 of the February 9th issue of TIME magazine titled “Briefing,” I caught a glimpse of the following statistic.
Improvement in fourth- and
fifth-graders’ math scores
after they participated in a
program vs. those who didn’t,
according to a study
Both my wife and I missed reading this tidbit the first time we perused the magazine. When it did catch my attention, I shared it with my wife and noticed that it did not have a big impact. My purpose was to have our daughter get the significance of this finding and given the lack of an OMG response from my wife, who does meditate daily, I took a minute to consider how I might present the same statistic to my daughter. She does dabble with GPS for the Soul, but does not engage in a contemplative practice on a regular basis.
Here is the way I presented the information to inspire her to engage more with her practice. I told her, “Sweetheart, did you know that if you get an 80 in Math, you now can get a A?” She asked me, “How dad?” So I continued, “I just read in TIME magazine which reported on a study that claimed a 15% improvement in math scores in fourth and fifth graders.” We then did some math with her to calculate 15% of 80 and she gave the final answer with some help as 92, which represents an ‘A’ grade. In fact, I further asked her if someone with a high ‘C” could end up with an ‘A’ and she quickly responded with a “Yes!”
While I stumbled into this approach without much forethought, I have always known that making things tangible and creating a vivid image for the other person helps in making the point more memorable and sticky. I wonder why so many of us tend to use numbers and logic to make a point.
I would really like to get your comments and ideas on how we might share similar findings in ways that it becomes tangible and motivates people to take action.
You can find the article at http://time.com/3682311/mindfulness-math/
“If you help them see it, they will build it.”