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It was my sophomore year in college. I was taking a psychology course and listening to another lecturer, taking thorough notes of everything the instructor said with a certain assumption that the information was "true" and certainly what I needed to know if I was to get the answer "right" on the test. this is the way I was indoctrinated throughout my education, to believe that true, right information was known, and it was my job to learn it. As I listened on this particular day to yet another research study--the hypothesis, the measurements, the data and its conclusions--I was surprised when we were told a different result than the one I expected. With a perplexed, timid curiosity, I raised my hand and asked, "couldn't the data be interpreted to mean this instead....?" Her response was blunt and matter of fact: "Oh yes--absolutely; it could mean that...." and then continued on to the next study without pause or explanation.
I fell stunned and in an instant thought of all that had already been told to us as "true facts" and I suddenly realized that it was ALL open to question and debate! this was the moment I became a psychology major, and a straight A student. I was thrilled and excited most by the possibility that "They" didn't know all the answers and that even me, a lowly undergrad student might ask fresh questions or discover new insights.

I did not become a "psychologist" formally, but a teacher--which is to say, much the same thing. I have been teaching at a highly ranked midwestern university for 16 years. My philosophy of education today is still based on my epiphany 25 years ago. I have come to view the questions as more important than answers because I notice that when students are allowed to risk voicing questions--all questions, especially the wild, crazy ones--their genuine curiosity and imagination makes the learning natural, and easy. And they remember what they learn better because it is connected to their own experience and innate inquisitiveness. As a result, a lot of students in my classes get high grades. I am against grading systems such as "curves" that rank students best to worst, A to F. I disagree with systems in which someone is required to fail, merely by rank. I find that if you can convince these well trained students to put questions ahead of answers, learning ahead of getting good grades, that good grades are a natural result. I believe everyone should be able to get an A. And if they are allowed to be interested enough in learning, I find that many do.