Is there any power in knowing little?
A student came to me full of anxiety. She was going to get an “F”, and worse yet, she was going to cause her group a poor grade.
She had been totally confused over the assigned novel and therefore had not been able to prepare her part of the group's presentation; the presentation was due the very next day. She was adamant that she had read the novel. I asked her what was the confusion. She mentioned many points such as the purpose of the plot's direction and the characters' motivation. I told her that her strength was in knowing little. Of course, she was further confused. I suggested to her that knowing little ( about her talking points) put her in the position to investigate and develop good questions. I told her to put all her concerns about the novel into questions and use them as her contribution in the next day's presentation. She doubted, "I can do that?" I responded, "Yes-absolutely. Knowing little can sometimes lead to bigger opportunities." The next day, her part of the presentation caused the most examination. The students wound up debating her points for several days afterwards.