Challenging Assumptions

My class and I have been looking at assumptions we have about people, places and things. The students have defined assumptions as  thoughts we believe to be true without question. 

Our next step is to challenge our assumptions. We are going to use the following questions from Flipside Thinker to see if our assumptions hold up.

1. What evidence exists to prove your assumption is true?

Is this something that has always been done or believed with no real evidence to validate or support it? Is there any real data behind the thought or idea?

2. What if the opposite was true?

If this assumption were flipped on its head, how would that impact your problem or opportunity? Would it make it worse or better? What would it take to reverse it?

3. What if your assumption was amplified ten-fold?

If this assumption was true, but was magnified 10 times (or 100 or 1000 times), how would it impact your problem or opportunity? Would it make it better or worse? What would it take to magnify it?

4. What if this did not exist or was not a possibility?

If this assumption or a part of it never existed, how would it change your problem or opportunity? Imagine no solution could have anything to do with it. What direction would you go?

5. Where would your assumption lead you in 3, 6, or 12 months?

Follow this assumption to its natural conclusion in terms of your problem or opportunity. What does the future look like in 3, 6 and 12 months? Good or bad? Does it create new problems? Does it present new opportunities?

6. How would a Grade 1 student view this?

Think with the wide-eyed innocence of a child, as if you know nothing about this subject. How would you explain it to a child? What are the most basic parts and are they valid?

I am looking forward to having the conversations with my students about how assumptions change our way of looking at things and how they change when we are provided more evidence or experience things in a different way.


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