If somebody called you a fence sitter, you almost certainly wouldn’t think of it as a compliment. You can’t be indecisive, you can’t hedge your bets. We need people with the courage of their convictions.
Recently a principal had the courage of his convictions and he banned laptops from his school.
But some people would prefer to go all the way and move towards a Paperless school?
So here we have two opinions on the issue.
SHOULD WE GET RID OF COMPUTERS FROM SCHOOLS?
Two diametrically opposed opinions on the topic. It makes for lively debate and holding such a strong opinion will apparently get your face on TV or in the newspaper. But it’s no way to think critically about anything.
For or Against. Yes or No. Black or White. Pro or Con.
We’re starting with the wrong question! The issue of technology isn’t a question with a yes or no response. How about a question like…
How useful is technology in education?
Well that’s better, but it’s still a very broad question. How useful is technology for what aspect of education? For collaboration? For note taking? For direct instruction? For literacy? For Numeracy? For Home Economics or Economics? For Physical Education or Physical computing? And what kind of technology?!
Now for any one of these questions I think you should be very happy to be anywhere on the continuum below.
But this isn’t the full story. Because not only am I asking you to be a fence sitter, I’m also asking you to be an itinerant fence sitter! On any issue that requires an opinion, I’m asking you to hold your opinion with a very loose grip indeed.
Read, talk, discuss, think and allow your opinion to be swayed this way and that. This is a Growth Mindset, changing with the time. Something a little like this.
Ask yourself, would I rather have the courage of my convictions, or the courage to say, “I’ve changed my mind”?