Improving Our Understanding

Even good students
     when they have
     obtained the solution
shut their books
and look
for something else.

They miss
     an instructive phase
          of the work.

They could
     consolidate their knowledge
          and develop their ability
to solve problems
     by looking back
          at the completed solution
by reconsidering
and reexamining
the result
and the path
that led to it.

A good teacher
should understand
and impress on students
the view that
     no problem
          is completely exhausted.

There remains
always
something
to do.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to the looking back prompt at Poetic Asides. It is a found poem.

Pólya, George. “In the Classroom.” How to Solve It; a New Aspect of Mathematical Method. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1957. 14-15. Print.

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