1. Adam

    These are really great thoughts and I like the examples you give. I used to tell students that life doesn’t really have multiple choice answers and it was more important to be able to think through something because they could come up with an correct answer that I hadn’t yet thought of.
    I think this is one of the biggest problems in education for both teachers and students. Students, especially the high achieving students, are very focused on “the answer” and struggle on critical thinking exercises because there is often no “answer.” If I had a dollar for every time I had a student say “I just want the answer” I would not be worried about $5 starbucks drinks! As we work to change this we are not just working towards changing teaching and learning habits but changing the culture of being successful in school and that is much harder. Students who do test well and succeed in the traditional model of schools are going to push back and so will their parents. Because of these things the transition will be slow and probably should be at first. But it has to happen if our students are going to be successful outside of school.

  2. Diane Devine

    This reminds me of a recent visit to Apple with a sad-looking power cord. I found the replacement and waited for an associate to ring me up. Seeing the old cord in my hand, the associate asked what I planned to do with it. She then opened the new box, handed me the new cord, and said that she would mail the old one back to Apple as defective (it was only a little over a year old). My cost: $0 instead of $83. She never asked anyone if it was the right thing to do, but knew it was in terms of customer service. I do love Apple!

  3. Shaye Patras


    Very well said with many new ideas for me to consider. I often have a similar conversation with parents and students explaining that in the “real world” bosses don’t give employees questions that they already know the answers to! They expect workers to understand a problem, be resilient enough to attempt multiple solutions, then communicate how they solved the problem in an articulate and concise manner.

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