30 Day Question Challenge – DAY 30!!! – Thinking directions

This has been an intense 30 day challenge. I liked it. It challenged me for sure. Is it sustainable? I hope so.

For now, I have listed the questions posed during this challenge of which I am aware. I know there are others out there, so post one or many in a comment and I’ll edit the page. I think that the questions tell us about our thinking – our conceptions, the direction, our interests, hopes, and our concerns.  I’ll save the meta-analysis for a later time.

My questions

  1. What would my class look like if every student embodied a sense of intellectual playfulness?

  2. What if we taught like Zen monks?

  3. What do arrowheads and education have in common?

  4. If you were to get a tattoo about your educational experience or general perception of education, what would it be and where would you put it?

  5. Is there an educational machine? If so, does it need to stop?

  6. If we based our teaching on questions instead of answers, would it help the course and student live in a state of surprise?

  7. What if we designed class like a Twilight Zone episode?

  8. How can we make oblique thinking a part of our classroom culture?

  9. Should we build time to help students (and ourselves) successfully manage all the white noise?

  10. What do teachers and serial killers have in common?

  11. To what extent do we build into our courses opportunities to deeply reflect on learning developments and milestones?

  12. How can Indra’s Web be a guide to rethinking teaching and learning?

  13. How often do we explicitly help students map the topography of their learning?

  14. Why don’t bad beliefs die? And what can we do about it?

  15. Given the vast number of technological tools available for supporting and furthering teaching and learning, how do we know which tools will best fit our needs, goals and dreams?

  16. What if I taught like I drink beer?

  17. Why don’t we teach and learn like the Chinese serve tea?

  18. Is trophy hunting killing education (or at least limiting it)?

  19. What does it mean to hack students’ learning experiences?

  20. How do we make something stick but promote creative exploration at the same time?

  21. Do we have to destroy school to rediscover the love of learning?

  22. What can we learn from taking a perspective that is considered is marginalized or even considered vile?

  23. What would a dynamic syllabus built on illustrations look like, and why do it? What positive things could result if students could build it?

  24. How can we realistically create a course (syllabus) that visually and conceptually similar to the exquisite forest project?

  25. Do you have what it takes to make asking probing and fair-minded questions of others a habit?

  26. How often do we journey into the unknown?

  27. What factors mutate learning in a positive direction?

  28. Do we have an obligation to explore the ethical implications of pedagogy that limits or restricts student creativity?

  29. How often do we ask jugular questions?

    1. How often to we teach students seek out jugular questions?

  30. What do my questions tell me about my thinking? Is it oblique enough?


Britt Watwood’s Questions

  1. Is the instructional design for teaching with new media complicated or complex?

  2. What would a course look like if its premise was the hyperlink rather than a linear chronology?

  3. What rules should faculty “break” in order to better enhance student learning?

  4. How might our teaching change if we shifted our perspective of what is “right” or continuing my metaphor, what is “up”?

  5. If today’s hyperconnected communication networks are bringing about fundamental changes to our work and study environments, are the Seven Principles of Good Practice still relevant or in need of update?

  6. What would teaching look like if both the course and every student lived in a state of surprise?

  7. How can we facilitate the ability and skill of our students to move from meta – or abstract – to concrete when it comes to their own learning.

  8. What would it mean to bring the intensity, passion, and zaniness to teaching that Slash brings to music?

  9. What would teaching and learning look like for students if classes emulated the crowdsourced concept behind Wikipedia to co-develop the class textbook, rather than purchasing an already printed book?

  10. If growth in the internet in users and applications continues to expand exponentially, why has growth in online learning been linear?

  11. In a digitally mediated and data-driven world, what practices will leverage what faculty do best – “…facilitating inquiry, guiding learners to resources, and imparting wisdom that comes with experience in the field” (to quote from the Horizon Report) while taking advantage of the affordances of the web to add value to the higher education student experience?

  12. How can I as faculty make myself unnecessary?

  13. How do (or should) we balance online accountability with anonymity?

  14. How could I craft my teaching so that students surface and interrogate competing fantasies in the search for today’s truth?

  15. Do the ways I approach learning inspire those I teach?

  16. As a teacher, do I want to approach teaching (and learning) as a woodpecker or swift?

  17. How might I approach teaching like a penguin?

  18. How can I teach in a way that sparks learner imagination, fosters their creativity, and leads their thinking from knowledge to innovation?

  19. How would my course change if I flipped the roles of teacher and student?

  20. How can I cultivate knowledge nomads who learn rhizomatically and create their own knowledge domains?

  21. What “crazy” teaching practices might actually better prepare our students for the digital world in which they will live and work?

  22. As a community…how do we stop asking the wrong questions?

  23. How can I lead from the rear to build trust and facilitate networked learning as a norm in my class?

  24. How might my teaching practice be informed and sustainably changed for the better by tinkering with open resources on the web?

  25. How do we in faculty development support the digital presence of 3,000 faculty without something like an LMS?

  26. How can learning in my classes move from covering content to deeper (and playful) explorations?

  27. How do I make my course future proof?

  28. Can I create more sharing of student-generated knowledge or faculty-generated knowledge by working less at controlling it?

  29. What would I want listed on my teaching tombstone?

  30. What are the questions I did not ask but should have?


Other contributions

Tom Woodward asked:

  • Scarification led me to dueling scars.That’s my question. Educational dueling scars?

  • How many details do you have to give someone who is interested in doing something?

  • I wonder if lack of reflection equates to lack of thinking and, if so, is not-thinking a kind of thinking? Can not thinking be your pattern of thought?

  • What would happen if abstraction was removed as a feedback mechanism for students?” If you took away numbers and letters (degrees as well as the ABCDF system) as abstractions/badges for knowledge and teachers had to use words, narratives, and evidence to convey what students knew and could do- how would things change?

Jeff Nugent asked:

  • What might it mean to teach like an octopus? (one of my favorites)

  • How can we “sit differently” to gain new perspectives on teaching and learning?

  • What if your course was more like Chipotle?

  • Do students really get the chance to formulate their own questions within the confines of education?

Other questions posed in comments:

  • What are the mythical jackalopes of education?

  • Would students think more deeply and creatively if they had to make their tools?

  • If I was to ask students to develop a map of the organizing questions, problems and concepts of the course and use them to explain other secondary, tertiary and peripheral concepts and problems, what would it look like?

  • What would individual maps look like versus the map that could be collaboratively developed from the collective whole?

  • What is your favorite resource for talking about information literacy for higher ed students?

  • Does pressure and stress within society and ourselves prevent learning? How could we eliminate our fears and pressure through teachings? If we accept to learn, would we then be accepting to live? How can learning become effortless?

  • But what about the magic of the actual space? Inspiring students to think differently or see the world differently just through the physical space?

  • How can we as teachers influence our learning space? How can we create inspirational learning environments in spite of (or with) what we are given in the “typical” classroom?

So what’s next? I have a couple challenges in mind, but I’m going to take a break and organize this site now.

Thanks for reading.

p.s. I totally believe that the day I stop asking questions is the day my thinking dies. The same is true of any academic discipline. If question posing is so essential, then why doesn’t it define classroom culture?

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