What If Learning Were All About the Unanswerable?


As human beings, we have a profound need to understand our environments and not just on a cursory level.


We dive deeply into our world and our imagination in search of answers with no "right" one needed.


Though we may crave the definitive, the terminal nature of one right yes or no shuts down the learning process.


Over time many things have been explained to a point of acceptance, but what if rather than working toward an answer, we worked toward the enveloping infinite.


Imagine a world where everything is possible... even as an adult. It's no longer just what we say to children when they daydream about the future, but a reality we embrace in our everyday lives.


It can be a manifesto for idealism where every person has the ability to transcend the mundane they generally choose to accept and be extraordinary.


Education is the exciting convergence point of knowing and unknowing. The opportunity to ask questions is limitless and rather than try to answer every question with finite answers, we should seek to engulf students in a well of possibility. Moving discourse ahead could be as simple as saying, "yes, and why do you think that? Where can we look to find more?"


As a limit approaches infinity, there are millions of possible outcomes. So too are there in life as a means to answering fundamental questions of who we are and how we exist in society.


Teachers have the unique opportunity to present this rainbow of hope to every child and encourage them to explore their many journeys, never giving up interest in one until another becomes illuminated. 


Who says we have to choose just one?


Knowledge is only limited by what has already been discovered, but there still exists the ability to uncover a multitude of things that have yet to be even thought of.


Consider the power of "yet".


What if we provided a platform for students to explore this unknown - in any content area at any time? What if we were free to explore it with them and for ourselves?


Questions have the power to open up the world, so let's teach kids to ask great questions. No longer should we toil with developing the right questions to control their answers, but rather flip the control and open up the choice to them.


True inquiry driven by their interests.


What are the many what ifs you wish you could explore?


Let's start asking together. Perhaps we may even find a viable or encouraging answer that inspires more questions and true innovation.


Off you go...


What will you explore today? Please share.


*This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in March 2015.

©2018 BY STARR SACKSTEIN -  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED