Byron's Babbles

Are You Invisible?

Clayton M. Christensen said, “There is no single right answer or path forward, but there is one right way to frame the problem.” Ever since having the opportunity to meet Dr. Christensen at Harvard, I’ve been a fan of this quote because I have always advocated for teaching our scholars in ways that there is no single answer. If we want to make school work look like real work it can’t all be single right answers, because our real-life problems don’t have single right answers. I was reminded of this yesterday in a meeting when someone said, “All of these answers could be right.” Therefore, how we frame the problem is crucial.

I’ve come to believe there are very few absolute right or wrong answers when it comes to decision making. There are only the best choices given the circumstances. There are good and bad decisions based on our core values, beliefs, and morals. But, again, there are very few absolute right or wrong answers when it comes to decision making. Sometimes, this keeps people from making decisions – even ones that will affect our lives. This causes us to be invisible and miss out on creating our own story. Thus why we need to be teaching our young scholars how to be decision makers in a world of no single right answers.

How do we do this for our scholars and ourselves? Here is a pretty basic four step approach:

  1. Frame the problem or choice to make
  2. Consider all the possible choices/solutions. Consider a pro/con approach
  3. Do the research
  4. Make a decision

As adults we worry we’ll make a decision that will be judged by others as “the wrong one”. I believe this fear was developed in us because our curiosity for learning is thwarted because our main goal in school was to find the “right answers” to achieve an A on the exam. By not making decisions, stepping into our strengths, knowledge, or confidence, we, and our students, become invisible.

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