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Intellectual Tenacity

 

This blog is part of a series of reflections based on Philip Dow's book Virtuous Minds*

 

There is something deeply satisfying about completing a task, especially when that task included significant obstacles or hardships. (p44)

 

Intellectual tenacity is simply dogged determination. It is this determination that in both our actions and our thinking habits often makes the difference between success and failure, fulfilment and frustration (p39).

 

Have you ever wondered why so many students do not like studying Mathematics? They use the excuse that they are not able to understand the concepts but happily manipulate similar or harder mathematical problems in their Construction or Geography class. Perhaps they just lack the determination needed to work at working out the problems.

 

We live in a fast-paced consumer culture that values the easy quick fix or something-for-nothing, over the hard-earned cure. The culture of cutting corners can survive for a time, but its cosmetic commodities cannot ultimately replace real achievement, and real achievement always requires tenacity, especially in our thinking habits (p41). When our own culture is encouraging quick solutions it is a challenge to teach the value and worth of persistent effort.

 

Philip Dow will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Christians in Teaching Conference in April.

 

Can we encourage you to delve into his award winning book Virtuous Minds, be challenged by his call to pursue truth and to build intellectual virtues in your students, and join us for the upcoming Christians in Teaching Conference.

 

*Dow, Philip E. 2013. "Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development". Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press

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