When we are in the process of describing students to ourselves, others or the students themselves, we face a pitfall. If we're not cautious, we will inadvertently create stagnation with our description. It's not a question of how accurate, insightful or optimistic our description is. Stagnation results from the circuitry of the description we using. The students appear stuck with a bad habit, glued to an attitude or hung up on some obsession.
When a description is imagined to be a node in a system, stagnation is a result. We establish our characterization as a fact. Our description is unchanging and the trait we've described reflects that fixation. We make a thing of something and it looks like a thing henceforth. There's no point in changing when it's been pointed out to be something that can be categorized accurately. It's neither a process, pattern or puzzle.
When a description is imagined to link several nodes together, stagnation is postponed indefinitely. We're speaking of connections between things rather than things themselves. We welcome other tie-ins and different ways to relate the components together. We say what things suggest, potentially signify and raise as possibilities. We cannot jump to conclusions because the evidence appears inconclusive. We are open to interpretations, further investigations and alternative formulations. The circuitry of our description is open or doubled.
When a description spans between unknowns, transformation is likely. We know what what all we don't know. We're joining questions together into deeper mysteries. We cannot establish the facts as of yet, because we have not decided which questions will lead us there. We're enjoying what we don't know with wonder, fascination and curiosity. We are certain that our process will lead to an innovative outcome, but are not in control of making it happen. We immerse ourselves in a co-creative experience which is mutually transformational. We don't see the students or ourselves the same way after venturing into such unfamiliar territory. A second order change results from the open-ended investigation. We change how change happens and change everything as a result.