Administration & Leadership

What’s the most important question we should be asking?

October 26, 2014

In my opinion, too many decisions in education are made in a complete vaccuum, where many schools and teachers ar really unclear about the broader goals and purposes behind what they should do.

Every time I get asked, "What device should I use in my classroom?" I think that person is probably asking the wrong question.

Every time I get asked, "How should we run our PD?" I think that person is probably asking the wrong question.

For a while now I've been thinking that the right question is something along the lines of "What do we want teaching and learning to look like?" In a session at Edcamp Seacoast yesterday, I had a great discussion with a group of people where we talked a lot about whether even that is the right question. One popular suggestion was "What are our goals and objectives?" since that will determine some of how we get there.

The clear favorite, though, was a simple "What do we value?"

Regardless of which of these questions is asked, though, I think there's a lot of value in asking these high-level questions simply because the answers to them will help you answer a lot of other questions. Knowing what you value in teaching and learning can help you choose a device, and format for PD, and a classroom management style, and a million other things.

Have your schools answered these kinds of questions? What questions do you think we should be asking?

This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we’ve preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.

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