This will be a short but important post because I’m going to ask for your help (so neeeedy!!). Ok, we just dropped our assumptions and our generalizations about what education is or isn’t; everything we think we know about education is now gone (if you are not with me right now, check out the previous post). Our next step is to fill the void we created! It’s time to begin adding ideas back into the mix. What new concepts, systems, and definitions do we want to attach ourselves to?
Yet, doing this, we need to be a bit careful. We don’t want to just fall back into old routines and settle down with the status quo. So, we need a tool.
Our tool—which will lead us like a compass down any path we choose from here on—is the amazing art of asking questions. Yep, that’s it; but, I’ll take this a little further. There are two main ways we should use our inquisitive minds. Let’s cover them!
Questions of Discovery
The first way to use our spectacular questioning selves is to help us uncover and discover new ideas. It’s the real beginning of problem-solving. What do you want to know about the issue at hand? What details are you curious about? I have been staring at our education system for a decade, so I’m full of questions.
But, today I’m putting the task to you. I want to know what’s important to you. I put this section first because it’s the most significant part of this post. My main goal for writing this was because I really want to hear your thoughts. Maybe you wonder how much math is enough? Who should be allowed to teach in a public school? What’s the purpose of education today? What should it be?
Even for our students, especially those in college where there’s a little more control, it’s good to question and get curious. Why is this class required? I wish we had a class on blank; can we add that?
As I said, I want to know what questions you have. What are you curious about? What makes you angry? Now, turn that into a question. I hope you take a couple of minutes to write out a few q’s and post them in the comments here on my website so we can all learn regardless of social media platforms. What are you waiting for? Share your questions!
Testing With Questions
The second major use of questions is to vet and test our ideas/systems/definitions. All great problem-solving follows the Scientific Method in one way or another. Make a hypothesis (usually in the form of a question). Research it. Test it. Then analyze the results by questioning your data.
Now that we’ve asked a bunch of questions and let our curious, no-longer-bogged-down-by-old-generalizations selves free (deep breath), we need to test these ideas out. As we explore ideas or as someone claims a new truth about our education system, it’s our job to question it. Is it really true? When someone states how our education system is failing because of how our math scores compare to other countries, I’d like to ask several questions. One of which is: are we measuring the right thing? Are math scores the most important metric to compare?
Another important reason to think like scientists here is that—as we fill in the void with new and old ideas—it will be extremely easy to fall back into old habits and assumptions. Naturally. If we’re vigilant, though, in vetting our ideas with further questions, we’re going to make some phenomenal improvements and discoveries!
Before I sign off, I want to reiterate that I hope you post some questions you have. I have a ton in my mind, but I think there are a lot more that need asking, and more perspectives make for better understanding. So, let out your inner rebel, question the status quo, stick it to the man! (Sorry, I just watched School of Rock this week)
I hope you’re all doing well, feeling good, and I’ll be back soon to start diving into some of these questions.
Oh! One more thing. One last… question!!! I’ve had the idea recently to take this journey (seeking new systems for education) and make it auditory. That’s a fancy way of saying I’m considering this as a podcast. Would that interest you? Or, do you like the blog format better? Ok, now… post questions, answer mine, or just say hello in the comments!
If you’re interested in making our education system better for yourself, for a loved one, or just care about our students, then…
Let’s Talk Education