Creative Schools is a revolutionary reappraisal of how to educate our children and young people by Ken Robinson.
It took a life-threatening condition to jolt chemistry teacher Ramsey Musallam out of ten years of “pseudo-teaching” to understand the true role of the educator: to cultivate curiosity. In a fun and personal talk, Musallam gives 3 rules to spark imagination and learning, and get students excited about how the world works.
In May of 2010, at 35 years old, with a two-year-old at home and my second child on the way, I was diagnosed with a large aneurysm at the base of my thoracic aorta. This led to open-heart surgery. This is the actual real email from my doctor right there. Now, when I got this, I was — press Caps Lock —absolutely freaked out, okay? But I found surprising moments of comfort in the confidence that my surgeon embodied.
Where did this guy get this confidence, the audacity of it?
So when I asked him, he told me three things.
He said first, his curiosity drove him to ask hard questions about the procedure, about what worked and what didn’t work.
Second, he embraced, and didn’t fear,the messy process of trial and error, the inevitable process of trial and error.
And third, through intense reflection, he gathered the information that he needed to design and revise the procedure, and then, with a steady hand, he saved my life.
Now I absorbed a lot from these words of wisdom, and before I went back into the classroom that fall, I wrote down three rules of my own that I bring to my lesson planning still today.
Rule number one: Curiosity comes first. Questions can be windows to great instruction, but not the other way around.
Rule number two: Embrace the mess. We’re all teachers. We know learning is ugly. And just because the scientific method is allocated to page five of section 1.2 of chapter one of the one that we all skip, okay,trial and error can still be an informal part of what we do every single day at Sacred Heart Cathedral in room 206.
And rule number three: Practice reflection. What we do is important. It deserves our care, but it also deserves our revision. Can we be the surgeons of our classrooms? As if what we are doing one day will save lives. Our students our worth it. And each case is different.
Complement Creative Schools with Curiosity is a superpower–if you have the courage to use it.