The Joy of Not Knowing (JONK)

In order to learn something new, we must not know it first

Find out how to launch the academic year with a Learning to Learn Week

Start Thinking (Imaginative Minds, 2005)

Order yourself a copy of Start Thinking! A fascinating collection of challenges that all children love!

The Joy of Not Knowing 

Marcelo Staricoff FCCT, NPQH, PhD
Transforming the potential for innovation in schools

The Joy of Not Knowing or JONK, is a philosophy of education and of whole school leadership that I developed from all that I've seen to have a transformational impact on children's lives, as a Primary School Teacher, Headteacher, Lecturer, Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching and Author (Start Thinking, Imaginative Minds, 2005; The Joy of Not Knowing, Routledge, 2020).

The philosophy that underpins the JONK approach covers all areas of school life and enables all students to become intrinsically motivated to want to learn, developing a lifelong love of learning and the ability to thrive when not knowing as well as when knowing.

JONK removes common barriers to learning and enables schools to deliver the curriculum in a way that equips all students with the skills, tools, behaviours and dispositions that they need to succeed as individuals, as resilient lifelong-learners, as global citizens and as curious, creative, philosophical and critical thinkers.

Please feel free to browse through this website to find out how the JONK approach can help your school build on your existing excellent practice and achieve your next steps.

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Success Stories

A had the most amazing day with the philosophy masterclass. We had great feedback from the teacher Mr S.

- Philosophy | Masterclass

D said it was the “best day ever”

- Philosophy | Masterclass

Marcelo Staricoff is amazing and inspiring

- Teacher | Brighton

JONKing at Coastal Federation was one of the best things we’ve done to inspire our children- go for it!

- Coastal Federation | Norfolk

Thank you for the JONK Course, excellent course and I can’t wait to start!

- Teacher | JONK Course

Great examples, brilliant presentation

- Headteacher | JONK Course

Recent Events

JONK Philosophy Day | Working with students from Nursery to Year 6 | CPD Staff Development Meeting |Ludham Primary School, Norfolk, VNET |

21 Jan 20
A day of Philosophy with each class, meeting with the Learning Leaders, meeting with the families and a Philosophy masterclass for the staff ...read more

JONK 'Time Travel' Maths Day | Working with students from Nursery to Year 6 | CPD Staff Development Meeting | Holly Meadows School, Norfolk, VNET | Norfolk

20 Jan 20
A day with of open ended maths investigations linked to the school's topic of Time Travel with each class, meeting with the learning leaders, meeting with the parents and a masterclass for staff ...read more

Philosophy Masterclass for Tomorrow's Achievers | A Coram Event | London

18 Jan 20
Another in the series of Philosophy Masterclasses as part of Tomorrow Achievers series of Events for Primary School children | https://www.tomorrowsachievers.co.uk/masterclasses/3028-how-to-think-differently-01-2020?keywords=differently ...read more

JONK Philosophy Day | Working with all children Reception to Year 6 | CPD Staff Development Meeting | Wenhaston Primary School, ASSET Education, Suffolk | ASSET

15 Jan 20
A day of Philosophy with each class, meeting with the Learning Leaders, meeting with the families and a Philosophy masterclass for the staff ...read more

Upcoming Events

JONK for NQTs at Ealing | London | Ealing CPD Centre, London

29 Jan 20
Two sessions for NQTs promoting classrooms as communities of enquiry and developing a culture for learning that leads to intrinsically motivated learners with a lifelong love of learning and creative thinking. ...read more

Maths Masterclass for Tomorrow's Achievers | Coram | London

01 Feb 20
Another in the series of Maths Masterclasses as part of Tomorrow Achievers series of Events for Primary School children | https://www.tomorrowsachievers.co.uk/masterclasses/3039-a-love-of-numbers-02-2020 ...read more

JONK Enrichment Day | Working with all children Reception to Year 6 | CPD Staff Development Meeting | Bell Lane Primary School, | London | http://www.belllaneprimaryschool.co.uk/

10 Feb 20
A day working and modelling JONK initiatives throughout the school, spending time in each class focusing on the lifelong learning dispositions and then leading a staff meeting on the dispositions at the end of the day ...read more

JONK for NQTs | Wandsworth Teaching School Alliance | Critical Thinking and Enquiry Based Learning | London | http://wandletsa.com

13 Feb 20
A twilight session for NQTS in Wandsworth describing easy to implement practical activities based on the JONK approach that promote a critical thinking and enquiry based learning approach to the curriculum ...read more

Latest News Stories

A JONK Michael Aldrich Foundation Collaboration | A Creative Thinking Arts Project in Schools

Wenhaston Primary School in Suffolk and Holly Meadows School in Norfolk have been chosen as the Pilot Schools for an innovative project which see the Michael Aldrich Foundation and JONKTL form a partnership to promote critical thinking through the Arts in Primary Schools ...read

JONK Launch | CPD Courses for NQTs in Ealing | London

Two courses will be running for NQTs in Ealing inspiring them with how to create motivational classrooms for learning where every child is able to develop an intrinsic motivation to want to learn ...read

JONK for NQTs at Plumstead | London

A practical session for NQTs to help them create an inspirational learning to learn culture in their classrooms ...read

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We Work With Amazing Educators

The JONK Network brings together a wide range of educational practitioners and educational related experts and organisations all contributing to ongoing professional dialogue and discussions aimed at inspiring all learners with a lifelong love of learning. It is fascinating to see how each collaborator has and is adapting the JONK philosophy within their own contexts and priorities.

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