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October 24, 2010

Believing the Impossible

In Lewis Carroll's most popular story, "Alice in Wonderland," he writes of an encounter between Alice and the Queen:

"There is no use trying," said Alice; "One can't believe impossible things."

"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before lunch."

In schools today, children face a daily dose of reading, writing, and arithmetic - but do they spend time imagining of "impossible things" in school? Do they, in other words, dare to dream? Does dreaming intersect with learning? I believe it does.

As much as we focus on improving test scores by boosting academic skills, it is equally important (if not more) to foster in children the love of learning for learning's sake. If the way in which we teach leads students to dislike learning, we need to re-evaluate what we're doing. They will only be with us for so long...before they head into "the real world."

As Daniel Pink indicates in his book, "A Whole New Mind," the economy of the future is headed towards favoring the kinds of jobs that require the ability to innovate, create, and to "Think outside the box" - in essence, dreaming the impossible (and being able to make it possible), will be a sought after skill.

Let's not forget in our daily interactions with students, to take some time to nurture the creative minds of our students.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Daniel Pink knows what's up.
    kate eshelman