Thursday, April 7, 2016

math and logic and the value of questions....

There is an internet firestorm about a question on a test for a 12 year old.

Here is the question: "Bob and John had pizzas for dinner. Bob ate 6 pieces and John ate four. John ate more pizza. How is this possible?"

The answer the kid's parents put on line was this: "John had a bigger pizza."

The teacher marked it wrong and commented: "It is impossible!!!"

There are many levels about what is wrong with that.

The first thing wrong is that the 'answer' is  more important than the 'question'.

The second thing wrong is asking 'how is this possible?" when the answer was predetermined that it wasn't.

The third thing wrong is the 'answers' eliminate 'possibility'.

Questions are always more vital and alive than answers since questions open up possibilities and answers shut them down. And "possibilities" are what makes life important and shimmering and remarkable. Questions are more important than answers every time.

I came up with a few other possibilities for the question.

"Bob's slices were smaller than John's."

"John took a few of Bob's slices."

"Bob left the crusts and John ate it all."

All of those are possibilities.

The question opened up a lot of logical possibilities. The teacher's answer--"It is impossible!!!"--shut down the creation of a new reality out of nothing.

The question wasn't about math or logic. It was about 'right answers'.

Right Answers are the booby prize of life. Once you have a 'right answer' that's all you have.

But if you live into and lean into and embrace 'the question', you have a whole created universe of possibilities.

I'm as pissed off as most of the people on line about both 'asking a trick question' and 'believing there is a Right Answer.

Avoid, flee from, reject, battle against, beware of "Right Answers".

They shut down the conversation and the possibility.

Rush to, embrace, welcome, dance with, embrace "Questions".

They open up the possibility of creating a future that wouldn't have happened anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.