What's the point?

I am sitting in Anne Smith’s classroom listening to students talk about the ways in which students believe they are seen vs. the way they see themselves (her student teacher is actually teaching the class at the moment, however). I really enjoy listening to students talk about their own identities. They are so definite and expressive, questioning and purposeful.

The part that grabs ahold of me, though, is the fact that everything that is done in this classroom is in the pursuit of the question: What’s the point? Today I am not sure that there is any question that is more important. I asked it this way about two years ago:

The essential question for 21st century learning is “How is this meaningful?” and the only way that students are going to be able to answer that is to collaborate with one another to create that meaning.

I like the rephrasing of this question as “what is the point?” It is beautiful in its simplicity.

So, with Learning 2.0: A Colorado Conversation staring me directly in the face tomorrow, I would like to ask that simple question during every session. I would like every speaker to ask themselves the question before they speak. And, I would like for all conversations to answer that question question passionately and with gusto.

Because I really want to know. What is the point of all that we are doing in education?

I have my idea, but what is yours?

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