I’ve forever resisted student requests for a single way to “solve all problems like (fill in the blank).” Mathematics and reality don’t succumb to easily memorized tidbits, and the myriad of learning styles and interests clearly resist clean categorization. Some learners require lots of encouragement and cheerleading; others are simply looking for another cool idea before they run off again to explore on their own. Regardless of confidence and perceived ability, every person can thrive when clear, unwavering, and high expectations are set within an unwavering support network that fosters growth, allows room to fail, and non-judgmentally provides support to try again.
When the “expert” in the room stops pronouncing, others are forced to fill the void. The diversity of thought provided by learners on the edge of discovery overflows the gap. Alternative methods allow every person to find approaches that sync with their way of thinking and encourages those who quickly grasp solutions to acquire alternative techniques.
After all, the greatest thinkers are not those who know the most “stuff”—they are the ones who see dynamic connections from previously encountered ideas to novel situations. We are always learning and always growing. It is my conscious decision to hold myself forever on the edge of eager discovery, striving to inspire others to find their own ways to be hungry, compassionate, and enlightened leaders for today and tomorrow.
Chris earned Bachelors degrees from Emory University in philosophy and pure mathematics, an MS in Math Education from Syracuse University, and his EdD in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.