Saturday, January 2, 2016


Curiosity. I have been told that as a child, I wanted to know 'why'. And I still do. When I learn something new, I need to know why to fully understand it.

A chef friend told me on New Year's Eve to sear the meat in a pan, but then finish in the oven. I had heard this before, but why? I have had sports injuries before for which I have sought out physiotherapy. Yes, I will do the exercises to heal, but why? What purpose do they serve, how will they help? I have worked with a personal trainer who is a friend and when he has given me a set of exercises, I have asked why he wants me to do them in that order. "Because I said so" is the answer. I trust him, and see results, so I accept that answer from him. But it certainly doesn't foster learning.

Do I do the same thing to my students? I mean, I don't say "Because I said so" to them, but do I shut down their curiosity in other ways? There are times when students challenge me for the way I am teaching them to do a task that they have seen done in practice. Often practice is not the gold standard, which is what we are teaching. But am I shutting them down by giving that answer, rather than turning the question back to them and asking which they think is better and why? Don't I want them to question, to be curious, to learn?

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