Thursday, October 2, 2014

Embracing confusion, ambiguity and wonder

It doesn't take much to make an immense difference in children’s lives…just some kindness, individual attention and acknowledgment, and encouraging them to discover continuously.

In helping kiddos to become perpetual students, the challenge usually falls more with the adults.  My unscientific general observation is that too many adults, even within our beloved education field, have arrived at their final destination, and this influences a false benchmark of what students can become.  I see an embedded belief that as long as the students are not confused and proficient at what we have taught them, that they have arrived too.

Being confused is usually considered to be negative.  What if we taught that it’s okay to be confused? What if we, as adults, embraced this idea that is best exemplified by toddlers: Be aware of wonder and discovery. Fight the natural maturing tendency to accept things as they are, and model that the mark of an “educated” person is to be open-minded, inquisitive, and yes- perplexed.  We should promote that it is desirable to end our understanding and beliefs with question marks.  We should embrace comfort with ambiguity.   Our own learning should be creating school and classroom environments that are designed to lead students to the edge of our perceived limits, then encourage them to go beyond.

Knowledge is marvelous, but wisdom is better.  Wisdom comes from experience, and the most awesome experiences comes from acting upon wonder.