Sunday, June 11, 2017

Post 03: Writing as a Tool for Learning

I have written for as long as I can recall.

Of course, for the first forty years I wrote on paper: scraps, lined yellow pads, journals, blank typing paper. For the past 20 years, I have written mostly on computers. For the last 10 years, I've written on my blogs—first, a personal blog about my family, and then a professional blog. I'll talk mostly about the professional blog, now called Learning Complexity.

This is where I learn. I explore all my new ideas on this blog first, and then later, I work out the good ideas, the ones that stick, into scholarly articles and presentations. But I don't write anything professionally that isn't written first in my blog.

Now, lots of the stuff that I write in my blog is never published or presented professionally. It isn't good enough. I make lots of mistakes in my blog, but that's okay. My blog is where I'm working out my ideas. It's where I'm writing through lots of ideas to learn what I really think about some issue.

For the past few months, I've been writing about complexity in education. It's a tough line of thought for me, and I've written a few silly posts that I no longer accept. Still, I had to work through those silly ideas to get to the better ones.

Here's something you can learn from someone who has been writing for nearly 60 years: it's a lot easier to fix a silly or poor idea than to fix no idea. Write something down, even if it's silly. You can fix it later. I do.