In teaching — whether to students, clients, teams, colleagues — how do we do so? Do we simply tell people why or let them come to why themselves? Dan Meyer has been talking a lot about encouraging “patient problem solvers,” and now Tim Childers considers an approach to presenting problems that makes the kids he teaches work through the why themselves:

I’ve been thinking of ways to make kids patient problem solvers in language arts. We drill and kill all these rules for spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and more. But I’m afraid kids lose a fundamental truth needed to understand their importance: Why are we doing this?

This led me to wonder about going back to Greek in order to get kids to understand the need for grammar rules. …. The original Greek texts were written in all capital letters with no spacing and no punctuation. I wondered what would happen if I gave kids the note below on the first day of class?

[Image: Greek texts written in all capital letters with no spacing and no punctuation]

What general rules would you take away to make your audience organize their own principles? By making people struggle through the why, we can develop problem solvers that really understand the how too.