One of my tutors, Angela, recently told me about helping her Grade 7 student, Bonnie, prepare for a science test. During the tutoring session, Bonnie practiced with a mock test and scored 86 per cent. I then became confused when Angela noted that she was concerned with the results and had spent the rest of the session re-teaching Bonnie the entire unit.
It turns out Bonnie had memorized facts word for word, and could answer questions like “What is an antigen?” with textbook accuracy. She would say, “Antigens are a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body, especially the production of antibodies.” But when Angela asked her to delve deeper, Bonnie stumbled and wasn’t able to showcase her understanding.