Encouraging learners to engage in broad experiences in all subjects can help to lay the foundations for a way of thinking that assumes there is always more to know. Such an attitude does not assume that we know all about something once we have labeled it and know a little. It is the opposite of the mentality that says, “Done that, check it off the list.” Reducing something to it parts is a useful tool, but students need to be reminded that things are more than the sum of their parts (e.g., humans are not just chemicals or economic units).

  • Learners can have real flowers on their desks in science or have a presentation of images of flowers and be asked to articulate the difference between their diagram and the real thing. Naming all the parts of the flower can miss something essential about a flower.
  • Learners can engage in a range of exercise activities in PE and be asked to track the effect on the whole person. This way, students see that human beings are complex and not merely bodies or minds or spirits.
  • Learners can experience the nature of faith in religion class by interviewing Christians. As part of the interview, students can explore the way in which faith involves thinking, feeling, and living. This may help to prevent them from seeing faith as just an intellectual assent to a list of beliefs.

Activities like these call attention to something of the breadth of what is being studied. They open up vistas rather than close down thinking.