I have turned the idea of a new blog over and over in my brain for months, and talked myself out of every idea or inspiration for it’s contents -until I was assigned a blog. I could blog about anything I want, about anything I desire- personal, professional, or passionate. With this assignment I was no longer allowed to talk myself out of writing- it was expected. I went through my list of possible topics that have accumulated over the course of the last few years and gave each a fighting chance, before settling here, on an inquiry based blog.
The idea behind “You Never Know” came from an undergrad class back in 2011. My professor projected this image in relation to our knowledge of teaching:
This image confused many of my classmates, and scared a few, but it excited me. The professor started with the green. She explained that this pie piece is representative of the things that each of us know, without a doubt. We know our names, we know how to read, we know where we live. But it is also full of all of the things we have learned. For some, this green portion is filled with formulas, or scientific facts. For me, this is literary criticisms, favorite poems, names of authors, genres, etc. Simply speaking green represents everything we have every learned and still know.
The blue, which is slightly larger than the green, represents everything that we are aware that we don’t know. For instance, I am aware that I don’t know how to solve advanced mathematics questions, or how to operate on a human body. I KNOW that I don’t know how to play lacrosse (or most sports for that matter). These pie pieces represents all of the ways in which people are capable of growth with inquiry.
The RED is the most exciting portion of this pie. 3/4 of this graph represents all of the things in this world that we have no idea that we don’t know. These are things that are taught by experiences we have never had, or people that we have never met, or simply questions we have never asked or been asked. The red is the purpose for this blog.
Every day I get asked questions from students or peers that fall into each of these categories. Students ask, “What is a hyperbole,” and I can answer quickly because that is something that I know that I know. Students ask, “when did the Special Olympics start?” and I know that I don’t have the correct answer on hand. (Though I immediately researched it- 1960’s). But at least once a week, if not once a day, someone asks me a question that falls in the red- for instance “Ms. Simmons, I know that we use salt to melt ice, but does salt, itself, melt?” I had never in my life wondered that or thought about the properties of salt, until that moment. I had no idea that I didn’t know.
In moments like these I am going to start learning. Questions in the red allow for growth and understanding about portions of our world about which I am otherwise ignorant. My goal is to no longer accept my own ignorance, but to use it to better my self and to broaden my world.
Here’s to demolishing ignorance!