Another dot in the blogosphere?

Savagisms

Posted on: October 19, 2021

Adam Savage was one of the two mains hosts of Mythbusters. Now one of his many projects is a show on YouTube called Adam Savage’s Tested.

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In a 2016 video, he and his colleagues chatted about knowledge and expertise. Here are two “Savagisms” that are relevant to education.

At the 14min 38sec mark, he remarked:

It’s hard to remember our beginner’s mind.

He said this in response to Simone Giertz’s anecdote about looking back at her old notes on electronics. It was also a callback to how commenters on the Internet make blind judgements about what others do not know.

In schooling and education, I might paraphrase Savage’s quote with: Teachers often forget what is it like to learn something for the first time. This is a statement about being empathetic to one’s students.

Somewhere around the 16min 09sec mark, Savage declared:

Expertise isn’t about knowledge. It’s knowledge about what are the proper questions to ask.

From his experience, he realised that good experts would flatly answer “I don’t know” when they had no answer.

For teachers and educators, this might be a reminder that being an expert is not just about knowing the answers. It is also about asking important questions.

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