Seriously, try the soup
There’s an traditional cycle for how students expect to learn things in school. First, teachers announce what everyone is going to learn. Then those same teachers present a basic framework for how this new skill or thing emerges from what we’ve all learned in the past. For some number of days or weeks after that, teachers provide instruction and examples that demonstrate exactly how everyone needs to demonstrate this new skill/knowledge. Ultimately there’s a project, a quiz or a test where everyone has to prove that they followed all the steps and know the same amount about phytoplankton or the Sedition Act.
Makers doesn’t work like that.
When you walked in today, you got your first glimpse at two strange patterns from a large and fascinating set of patterns. Everyone jostled for markers and started to fill in squares, while proclamations of “I’m so confused” and “I don’t get this at all” drowned out any discussion of the patterns and rules at hand.
In the learning cycle you’re used to, those words are powerful. Those are the words you use to send a lesson back to the teacher for adjustment: for more explanation, for more examples, for clarity about what’s going to be on the test.
The cycle we’re all used to treats confusion as an aberration, a bowl soup that arrives too spicy or too cold. Not only does the soup need to be replaced, but the experience makes the whole kitchen seem less trustworthy.
Makers doesn’t work like that. Here, confusion and frustration are cultivated as an essential part of learning anything genuinely new. Here we serve stuffed bowls of Bún bò Huế or silken gazpacho. If you’ve been trained to expect Cambell’s Chicken Noodle, you might feel out of place. You can take your time trying out these new flavors, but have some faith in the kitchen.