Live and learn

Prayer brings out child's full potential

When my daughter was in the third grade, her teacher told me that she appeared to have a learning disability. The teacher laid out two courses of action. One was to have my daughter tested that year; the second was to wait another year, but to keep a close watch on her progress. I chose to postpone the testing, because I realized that there was, in fact, a third course of action. We could turn to God in prayer. Here was an opportunity to prove that intelligence and the ability to express it were part of my daughter's identity as God's—divine Mind's—child.

I remembered reading in a college psychology textbook about a study regarding teacher expectations and their effect on students' success. Teachers were told that certain of their pupils were especially gifted. Their performance did, in fact, prove to be exceptional, but none of them had actually been previously identified as gifted. The study indicated that their high performance was a direct result of the teachers' expectations for them and of their treatment of them, based on those expectations. Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson, Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher Expectation and Pupils' Intellectual Development (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1968), pp. 70, 121, 174-175, 180.

August 21, 2000

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