The Five Questions That Most Define My Work

It’s interesting to me the struggle that schools seem to have with allowing student led inquiry learning to become the norm in classrooms. After all, our lives are driven by questions, and the pursuit of interesting questions is the vehicle through which we learn most effectively. Think of any great invention, any great achievement, for that matter almost every act in our lives; they all start with questions, large or small. And like adults, kids learn most profoundly around questions that matter to them.

Why wouldn’t we make inquiry the foundation of our learning work in schools? For both teachers and students? (Good question.)

I’ve been thinking about the questions that drive my work a lot of late. I’m wondering which are really worth pursuing, as in which do I think actually have an answer that is within reach of both my feeble brain and my time left on Earth. (Change in schools is very slow, in case you hadn’t noticed.) To that end, I’ve been making a list of all the questions that I’m asking that seem most interesting to me in relation to the work I’m trying to do. I’m up to 27, but just for posterity, I thought I’d share the top 5 at this moment.

  1. What happens to schools at a moment when information, knowledge, teachers, and technologies for learning are readily available and carried in our pockets?
  2. Why is there a disconnect between what most educators say they believe about how learning occurs and what they practice in classrooms?
  3. What are the skills, literacies, and dispositions that our kids will need in order to flourish in their lives?
  4. How do we bring relevant, sustainable change to legacy systems of education?
  5. What don’t I know about how people, and specifically kids, learn with or without technology?

These still pale in comparison to “How do I raise two kids to be productive, happy, caring, engaged, loving human beings who love to learn?” But they’re where my professional head is at for the moment.

Hoping you’re willing to share a question or two that’s driving your work and your learning right now. #5questions

(Image credit: Virtual EyeSee)

Originally published at Will Richardson.

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Want to explore more of these ideas around learning and education? Check out my latest TEDx Talk “The Surprising Truth About Learning in Schools,” my blog at, or checkout my Amazon author page.