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Angela DiGioia's picture

Seriously Loopy Science...Not so Loopy at All

Previously, I mentioned that many of my peak education moments have come outside of the classroom.  I’ve been exploring this further to pinpoint that top ten to twenty peak education moments that I think have been the most formative in my education as a child and as an adult.  Most of them involved my parents or grandparents in some way but some of them also involved a teacher that I’ve had somewhere along my educational career.  Interestingly, these peak education moments were interactions that occurred outside of a classroom and, more often, in a social setting.  I remember one interaction specifically where a teacher kept asking me questions in response to my questions.  At the time, I was frustrated and somewhat uncomfortable because I thought that my questions were not being addressed and that I was being judged but, I later learned that this was a technique called “Ask ‘why’ 5 times.”   I still go through the exercise in my head often if I am pondering a question or trying to get to the root of an issue. 

            One of the benefits of “seriously loopy science” is that unconventional methods, such as “Ask ‘why’ 5 times,” are means by which both individuals and teachers can learn about each other and look introspectively to explore their observations.  To me, learning is a cyclical process; every bit of new knowledge is based on previously existing thoughts (conscious or not).  To me, this is what the goal of education ought to be and not memorizing numbers and fact without ability to apply them to actual situations.  What use is knowledge unless you can apply it to situations in your daily life?  Theoretically, wouldn’t the purpose of knowledge be to create more knowledge (or thoughts) and to keep pushing the boundary further and further?  I think that “seriously loopy science” is the way that our minds work intuitively and that one would be hard pressed to argue otherwise.  After all, even science wonks use this methodology when publishing papers (although perhaps they would probably argue otherwise).  Accumulation of knowledge and further exploration of the unknown (which is pretty much everything) is the matter of which scientists are in hard pursuit.  Will we ever answer all of our questions or be able to explain all of our observations?  I hope not. If we do, where will go from there?



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