Start with ‘Why?’

I listened to Simon Sinek’s TED talk on inspirational leadership and it got me thinking.

He explains inspiring leaders through his golden circle of ‘what, how, why’.  Most individuals and organisations focus on what they do and how they do it. Inspirational leaders think, act and communicate from the inside of the circle  outward. They start with the ‘why‘, and only then the how and the what.

Here’s the TED talk. You’ll probably find yourself thinking about how it applies in a variety of contexts. I know I am!

I’ve been thinking of the applications in teaching and learning.  We need to start by knowing what we believe about how students learn.  And if learning is to be meaningful and engaging, both teachers and learners should be clear on the ‘why’ behind any learning experience.  If not, it’s probably just work!

Why are we doing it?

Someone who had listened to the TED talk asked me yesterday about the ‘why’ behind this blog. Sinek says  ‘If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’.  I’m not selling anything! But here is my ‘why’ …

I’m a teacher, a learner and an inquirer.   I blog to share my reflections on teaching and learning and to engage in conversation with other educators who extend my thinking further.  If you share my passion for teaching and learning through inquiry, creating a culture of thinking in the classroom  and enhancing learning through technology… If  being part of a learning community is important to you…. then you’ve come to the right place!


18 thoughts on “Start with ‘Why?’

  1. Edna, G’day. I viewed Simon Sinek last week and shared with our staff. I was also going to place it on my blog but who knows what happended during this busy week! Thanks for the reminder with your blog. Why do I blog? To gleen from my PLN/PLC and share with our staff. Teachers often become so busy touching kids lives and taking care of their family, they don’t have to time to surf and search the educational world. My sharing is a quick way for them to explore the latest in education and technology.
    Do you follow Maggie Hos-Grane “Tech Transformaton”? She was listening to Dan Pink and titled her article Evolving Schools for a Whole New Mind. Loved her blog on Dan’s talk.
    Make it a great week for your students plus a bonus week for you.

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    1. Glad I reminded you. I agree about teachers not having time (or inclination) to learn online… and I think it’s shame. Have learned do much through my online PLN in the past half year! Teachers wouldn’t accept students saying that they don’t have time to learn, so why is it ok for teachers to say that, I wonder?
      I love Maggie’s blog as she works in a PYP school today. She’s been quite an inspiration to me actually.

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  2. This is an important exercise for us to go through as teachers but I believe that it is equally important for students to walk through the “why” exercise as they work. This is a good skill to teach because the why is so motivating and compelling. Great post, I am blessed by your blog regularly!

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  3. You’re right, we do focus on the what and how and the why gets overlooked. I sometimes wonder if we asked the why question more often would we still do some of the things that we do now?

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  4. Pingback: Thing #4

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