‘The Courage To Say “I Don’t Know”‘

WBUR

October 22nd, 2012 by 

In a segment on WBUR’s Radio Boston, Leah Hager Cohen, W.H. Jenks Chair in Contemporary American Letters at the College of the Holy Cross, discussed a piece she had written for the radio station’s Cognoscenti blog about the value of admitting what we do not know.

Reflecting on her experience as a professor, Cohen admitted that it is sometimes easier to fake knowledge of a subject in order to avoid seeming ignorant. “It’s so habitual,” she said. “Unfortunately, I think in our culture it’s just become ingrained to save face.”

Reacting to recent news, such as the Harvard cheating incident, Cohen explained that in order to uphold academic integrity in her classroom, she hopes “to create a collaborative environment [where] we’re all asking questions together.”

“With my own students, I see what’s a fear of messing up,” Cohen continued, talking about why people have a hard time asking for help. “They are afraid of exposing themselves as not in the know and therefore not belonging in the environment that they’re in.”

To combat such tension, Cohen recommended that we readily admit we do not know everything so that we may allow our fears to dissipate.

This ‘Holy Cross in the News’ Item by David Cotrone ’13.

| More
Tags
Categories
In The News, News

Comments are closed.

Sort By:
or
05/21/15 Members of Class of 2015 Honored at Academic Prizes and Awards Presentation
05/20/15 Holy Cross Students Raise $36,500 for Cancer Research
05/19/15 Terry McKenna Named Crusader of the Year
05/19/15 ‘New Brookings Study Shows Holy Cross Adds Value to Alumni Mid-Career Earnings’
See All
See All

Featured Videos

See video
Senior Spotlight: Holy Cross Is the Place to Strive Academically and Athletically, Says Evan Ocello

Watch Video >
See video
Senior Spotlight: Holy Cross Provides Small Campus with Big Reputation, says Valedictorian Nick Cormier

Watch Video >
See video
Senior Spotlight: Liberal Arts Education Connects Science and the Social Sciences for Raven Tukes

Watch Video >
More

What’s Happening on Campus

05/22/2015

NROTC Commissioning

See More >
05/22/2015

Commencement Excercises

See More >
05/22/2015

Commencement Reception

See More >
05/29/2015

Collaboration: James Stroud ‘80 and Center Street Studio

See More >
More

Holy Cross in the News

05/19/15

‘New Brookings Study Shows Holy Cross Adds Value to Alumni Mid-Career Earnings’

The College of the Holy Cross fares well in new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, titled “Beyond College Rankings, a Value-Added Approach to Assessing...

05/19/15

‘USA Today Ranks Holy Cross No. 2 Among the 10 Best Roman Catholic Colleges in the Country’

USA Today College

According to USA Today College, the College of the Holy Cross ranks No. 2 among the 10 best Roman Catholic colleges in the country. The article lauds Holy Cross for its...

05/04/15

Holy Cross Commencement Speaker Bryan Stevenson Making Headlines Around the Country

Vanity Fair | TIME | CNN | New York Times | Los Angeles Times | Washington Post

“Justice needs champions, and Bryan Stevenson is such a champion,” wrote South African civil rights activist, retired bishop and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu,...