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Inventors explore big questions that normalize uncertainty.

Inventors explore big questions that normalize uncertainty.
I wonder if we could have a world full of people who know what to do when things go wrong. How could this ever happen?Angelina, Age 7

Children will learn to engage with big questions that normalize uncertainty when adults…

  • ask big questions that don’t have fixed or known answers
  • celebrate big questions from children, teachers, or other thinkers by making them visible in the classroom
  • encourage provisional thinking, tinkering, and iteration
  • show that they value question-asking by giving children many opportunities to practice posing questions, and by validating questions as much as answers

Teachers will engage with big questions that normalize uncertainty when they…

  • collaboratively generate big questions that tickle their imagination and invite dialogue with other adults as well as children
  • plan with clear intentions that make room for surprise
  • seek and pay attention to questions that don’t have clear answers
  • use documentation tools and protocols that encourage a practice of teacher-research

Related Tools

Asking Big Questions

Use this tool to normalize uncertainty by encouraging children to ask big questions.

View PDF

Asking Unanswerable Questions

Use this tool to discover children’s thinking about questions with more than one answer.

View PDF

Windows into Practice

Becoming Visible through Materials

A 1st- and 2nd-grade community of learners strives to understand and bring to life each other’s wishes.
Presentation Video

Everything is More Complicated than We Realize

Using materials that invite metaphoric expression, 4th- and 5th-graders and their teacher pose complex questions that connect the personal and the global.
Classroom Video

This Practice is guided by Principles