Practice: High Tolerance for Ambiguity and Complexity


Inventors embrace ambiguity and complexity

by building theories, taking risks, and viewing setbacks

as opportunities for learning.

It’s OK, we all make mistakes. The important part is fixing it.

Lydia, age 4

Children will learn to embrace ambiguity and complexity when adults…

  • invite children to create, revisit, and reinvent rules and problem-solving strategies
  • ask children to reflect on experiences and learning processes individually and in groups
  • model and encourage repairing mistakes and taking risks
  • ask unanswerable questions so that children can practice theory-building and risk-taking with ideas

Teachers will learn to embrace ambiguity and complexity when they…

  • have regular opportunities to reflect on setbacks and develop plans to move forward
  • make public documentation that relates learning experiences to practices that inspire inventiveness
  • use the principles of inspiring inventiveness to reflect on classroom experiences and to plan for more
  • develop and share theories of learning based on experiences with children in the classroom