Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 119

There are no . Only different methods of collecting .

In simplest terms, there are no right answers.

The decisions we make are nothing more than various methods to collecting data.

In fact, all of our decisions start with a question to be answered, or a problem to be solved.  Questions and problems, as we know, are rarely black and white.  There are always multiple shades of gray that are just as feasible (or likely) to answering any type of query; in all but the most extreme situations, a simple "right" or "wrong" doesn't cut it.

The problem is, as a society, we're so predisposed to believing in "rightness" or "wrongness" that we often look to pose a response that will be accepted as "correct," rather than welcomed for bringing up interesting ideas or additional questions.

This is a challenge.  Our way of assessing students (and the structure of our schools, in general) rewards the one "true" answer, not the deeper digging responses that encourage learning (rather than stifling it).  "Right" answers are often detrimental to discussion, as they put a finality on the conversation taking place, at the expense of creative ideas and connected thoughts that learners may be tossing around in their minds.

Leaders (and learners) must not accept education and life to be as a simple as a coin flip.  Instead, we have to recognize that any answer is a potential source of data, and as such, we must welcome it for the learning it can bring.

Note: As a quick aside, I have the suspicion that I put together a quote similar to this in the past.  I guess it shows how deeply held this idea is to my core beliefs. :)

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