Monthly Archives: July 2016
“Hey dad, am I going to be a genius when I grow up?”
I remember asking this way too many times as a kid, always wondering about what things will turn into. My dad had the perfect comeback.
“Of course, you’ll be whatever kind of genius you want to be.”
The youth in me didn’t understand my dad’s wisdom. He answered me, but that felt like a general answer. Kind of.
Educators and professionals everywhere talk about pursuing interests, passions, developing your interests. Some talk about #20time, #geniushour, or whatever structure encourages the pursuit of understanding and problem solving. My dad was doing this before it was popular. And it drove me nuts.
Somehow my father was able to get his children (older sister, myself, and younger brother) to fall into a self directed question and answer session. He started by posing notices and wonderings in objects around us, then as soon as we offered our own questions he knew we were baited. “That’s a great question.” The moment of triumph over coming up with something of value was followed by a challenge. As soon as we asked for the answer to our curiosities, my dad simply said, “Go look it up, see what you can find out.”
I used to hate this, but now I plan to submit my own children to the same process.
— Inland Empire EdChat (@ieedchat) June 27, 2016
What do I do for DIY learning? First I ask questions. Lots of them. If you ask my wife, I ask too many. Questions are important. They are the driving force to learning. When we talk about access to information for the current generation I think we need to also look at access to questions, and the art of questioning. One of my favorite sites that encourages the generation of questions is 101qs.com.
Maybe I’m not exactly answering the #ieedchat prompt, how do I DIY, but somehow there seems to be wisdom in if you’re not asking enough questions, you’re not really growing anyway. Think back and ask yourself, what queries have you had today?
PS: my dad has done volunteer gigs as Santa Claus, and he gets a kick out of waving to kids and reminding them to be on the nice list.