"You need to be less ignorant"

(66 Posts)
GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 10:38:42

Help me get some perspective on a teacher saying this to my 9 year old dd.

Dd told the teacher an exciting fact she had just discovered, teacher said "that's not right". Dd replied "I'm sure it is - I just read it in XYZ book". Teacher said "You're wrong. You need to be less ignorant".

Aside from the fact that dd was infact quite right, how bad do you think this comment is from a teacher?

AuntieStella Mon 08-Jul-13 10:42:40

If DD is right, the teacher needs to apologise.

If DD is wrong, then not so bad. Dispelling ignorance is one of the roles of schooling.

< idly wonders what the fact was, and whether it's the sort of thing that does get misreported in some books >

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 10:43:57

Dd was absolutely right - don't want to reveal fact though in case it makes us too recogniseable.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 08-Jul-13 10:46:15

Absolutely terrible.
Maybe the fact was against conventional thinking and was part of a topic covered within nc and teacher needs them to learn her fact, not the true one?
Maybe the teacher is ignorant and doesn't know what ignorant means.
Whatever the reason it can't be justified saying this to a child, surely.

We had a similar incidence when teacher told my dd aged 8 that she had something wrong in a subject she was G&T and more knowledgeable than the teacher. grin

Tell your dd she is right and teacher wrong, if she is to continue at the school also tell dd that sometimes teachers make mistakes too. Then go to school and verify what teacher said, chances are they will deny and say something different.

Personally, ignorant is ignorant - I don't quite know if there are degrees ...

Strange thing for a teacher to say ...

Smartieaddict Mon 08-Jul-13 10:48:28

I wouldn't be very happy with that comment. It sounds quite childish, and unpleasant. I would expect that kind of comment from another child, having a petty moment, but not from an adult who's job is to educate.

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 10:49:32

Not part of the NC - was something which came up on a trip out that dd just happened to have read about. Don't think it really matters whether dd was right or not either.

I want to tell the head, just not sure if I am over-reacting or not.

simpson Mon 08-Jul-13 11:56:46

I think it's a horrible thing to say regardless of whether your DD was correct or not.

However if you report it to the HT, will the teacher just deny saying it or say your DD misheard?

maja00 Mon 08-Jul-13 11:59:00

Slightly odd use of the word ignorant - I'd wonder if the teacher has misunderstood what it means confused

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 12:20:49

No idea whether the teacher knew what it meant or not. However, dd was in no doubt that the comment was not intended to be kind. Was also said in front of lots of other children.

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:23:45

I don't think there is any call for a teacher to speak to a child like that regardless of who was wrong or right.

Branleuse Mon 08-Jul-13 12:26:08

weird use of the word ignorant.

maybe shes ignorant of what it means

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 12:30:32

I'm not sure how wierd the use of the word is. I think my grandmother could have said something similar and would have meant not only a lack of knowledge but a wilful lack of awareness of something - a not caring about the correct answer. Not sure how well I am explaining this, but I wonder if the word has additional connotations in some regions?

FadedSapphire Mon 08-Jul-13 12:33:11

To me ignorant is a horrible word.
Mind you may be because used to know someone who when cross used to call people 'pig ignorant'- not nice...

piprabbit Mon 08-Jul-13 12:34:39

A teacher told my 7yo that there was no such thing as a geode and that she must be making it up, in spite of DD being able say exactly what a geode is.

We didn't confront the teacher, but reassured DD that she was quite correct and that just because the teacher wasn't interested in geology, didn't give the teacher the right to be rude to DD.

mothersanonymous Mon 08-Jul-13 12:42:39

That would be a very rude (in fact ignorant) thing for a teacher to say even if your DD was wrong. The fact that she was correct makes it even worse. I don't know your school/head/relationship so don't know whether this is worth raising.

Periwinkle007 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:44:42

I would have been cross about the geode piprabbit (I am a geologist!)

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 08-Jul-13 12:48:14

I think it was really rude of the teacher, regardless of whether your DD was right or not.

I don't think it would be OTT to talk to the head - aren't schools supposed to be encouraging children to find things out for themselves and expand their knowledge?

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 13:21:41

This particular school is supposed to pride itself on encouraging pupils to pursue knowledge as far as they can and I too thought that the comment did not sit that well with that particular sentiment.

I am however starting to wonder if "ignorant" has different connotations for different people. To me it is a quite horrible term, but maybe not so much for others?

maja00 Mon 08-Jul-13 13:26:00

Ignorant is the opposite of knowledgable really isn't it? A lack of awareness or knowledge.

It just seems to be an odd way to respond to someone telling you a fact, even if you think it is incorrect. Ignorance is not knowing things, willful ignorance is deliberately choosing not to know things - it just doesn't really work as a response to someone who obviously does (or is trying) to know things.

I'm not sure what the teacher was trying to say to your DD - that she needs to ensure she's correct? She needs to read more widely? confused

It's not a nice or constructive thing to say either way though.

finallyasilverlining Mon 08-Jul-13 13:28:29

shock faded I hope that's not me blush I say that sometimes to my DH but that's because he really is 'pig ignorant', some teachers seem to forget who they are speaking too when saying these things. Just imagine, A Dc catching you out on something you may know very little about how embarrassing wink

I'm afraid there will always be one OP (whether that's a teacher or not), trust me my Ds is 4 years into school life and I have heard some absolute belters! I have often thought about approaching the head but it would get ridiculous if we were to pursue every time this happens. Just reassure your Dd. Sit on it for a few days and if your still narked or if your Dd is still upset have a word.

finallyasilverlining Mon 08-Jul-13 13:29:37

P.s have just googled a Geode grin

MrsBodger Mon 08-Jul-13 13:31:52

What a weird thing to say. Do you have the XYZ book? If so, I'd go in to see the teacher asap to show him/her and say that you want dd's teacher to realise that dd isn't 'ignorant'.

I think it's important for children to know that you'll back them up when adults are in the wrong.

HomageToCannelloni Mon 08-Jul-13 13:36:14

Adjective
Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular: "ignorant of astronomy".

If she meant the first definition I'd be fuming, if she meant the latter then less so. I do think, as with a lot of language, it depends on the intention.
I have talked to my 8 year old about mouthing off when ignorant, in the second context of those two, because we were having issues with her making up 'facts' and getting pissed off when we wouldn't accept them. We warned her about ignorance and how it could mean she was taken less seriously when pronouncing on other topics she WAS knowledgeable about. Is it possible your dd does the same in class? (She may not do it at home.)

GooseyLoosey Mon 08-Jul-13 13:40:19

Dd wanted to take the book into school this morning to prove to the teacher that she was right but I wasn't sure that that was the right thing to do. I think if the teacher was annoyed enough to respond to her in this way in the first place, dd proving her point is like adding salt to the wound.

To me, the way it was said, must mean more than a lack of knowledge.

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