Problems are what make us interested to learn more. Problems are the sign of a curious or creative mind. Problems are really just challenges in disguise. People who go looking for interesting problems are people who create and invent and discover things. Someone who never looks for problems will rarely learn anything new. And the ‘bad’ problems, the kind that truly do make you mad or sad or get you into trouble, well, try to turn them into ‘good’ problems by asking questions about them, or looking at them from a different direction. You’ll see how quickly some of those ‘bad’ problems will disappear. (Lichtman, 103 p.)
If we want our learners to ask more questions, shouldn’t we also ask more questions? What is a good problem – a challenge or opportunity – that we want to take on? Do we think about leading learning for our students by the example we set and the discussion we have about our learning, thinking, experiments, and actions? Do we lead learning by finding and accentuating the strengths, talents, and bright spots of every learner?
“You are all good questioners.
“You are all good problem finders.
“You are all good analytic thinkers.
“You are all good problem solvers, even for the difficult problems.
“Now we need to take the last step. I want you to become creational thinkers.
“What does that mean? It means that you jump from analysis to synthesis; from critically evaluating what someone else has handed you to creating something to be critically evaluated by others; from reordering information to creating information. It means forging a path instead of following one. (Lichtman, 148 p.)
I agree that “bad problems” can be turned into opportunities if we ask questions to understand from different perspectives. How might we see through a different lens?
I argue with an “I can’t” mentality. What if we discuss what can be and go from there? I aspire to send a message grounded in believing in every learner; in other words, I aspire to change “I can’t…” to “I can…” with every learner.
I aspire to model partnering to shift from critically evaluating others to asking to be critically evaluated. What if we bright spot work? Will we improve trust and relationship to the point where being critically evaluated is not deemed negative but actually sought?
I aspire to forge a new path, collaboratively, with learners. I aspire to be a co-learner, to walk a path together. I agree to try. I aspire to believe in every learner.
I aspire to listen more, question more, and learn more.
I aspire to become a falconer.
Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.
[Cross posted on Experiments in Learning by Doing]