Teach A Different Question
Students learn what we teach.
We teach, from the earliest ages, one central question. Kids learn it well, and suffer the consequences the rest of their lives.
What’s it take to get an “A” (or a “B,” or to pass). What’s the minimum I have to do to get the result I want, to keep you off my back, to earn whatever external reward – or avoid whatever external punishment – matters to me?
This “what’s required?” environment frames learning as a transaction. Students give something and get something in return. Like any deal, it’s competition to get as much as possible with the smallest possible investment.
(Side note: “What’s required?” isn’t just a school question. How often are kids taught to think in transactional terms about their allowance, screen time, homework time, or household chores?)
Kids learn what we teach. So why are we surprised when they approach school, work, relationships, and even Jesus as what’s-in-it-for-me transactions?
Of course, real learning isn’t a transaction. We teach people to be authentic learners by modeling a different core question.
Risky. Stepping forward. Asking big questions. Pursuing lines of interest and inquiry, some of which won’t “pay off.”
(Side note: What if we taught kids – at home – to look for what needs to happen and ways to help? What if we taught them to identify and maximize their strengths?)
Seeking opportunities. Moving beyond compliance into contribution. In a “what’s possible?” environment we’re busy seeking new and better ways to advance the mission, ways we can step up and assume responsibility.
We’re riding bikes to build a community and support kids rescued from human trafficking. It’s not about what’s required.