The Joy of Not Knowing (JONK)

Promoting an Intrinsic and Lifelong Love of Thinking and Learning in Schools

Contact Marcelo and Introduce a bespoke 'JONK Learning to Learn Week' in your School

Would you like to launch the 2019-2020 academic year with a JONK Learning to Learn Week? Would you like to equip all your students with all they need to succeed? Would you like to teach your students how to learn as well as what to learn? Would you like to have intrinsically motivated students from the first day of term?

Start Thinking (Imaginative Minds, 2005)

Transform your children's enthusiasm for learning with these fascinating thinking skills starters that all children love having a go at and that launch your day in the most motivational and inspirational way imaginable!

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

I have already had some very positive feedback about the session so many many thanks for your contributions

- PGCE Course Leader

I'm a PGCE Primary student at Brighton and was really inspired by your lecture today. I studied Philosophy as part of my degree and love the idea of incorporating that into my lessons at school.

- Student | University of Brighton

We are 2 PGCE students at Brighton University and were recently at your highly inspiring lecture. We are currently on a placement in a year 3 class and have been given the opportunity to run a learning to learn/ PSHE day on the first day back after half term. We would like this day to focus on team building and PSHE type games in order to re-establish class rules and relationships. There is currently a lot of low level disruptions and behaviour issues, which is inhibiting learning. We would like to address these issues- can you help?

- Student | University of Brighton

I just wanted to drop you a little message to thank you for bringing in Marcelo this morning. To put it simply, he was utterly inspiring. His philosophy, ideas and approach to teaching has instilled in me a great deal of enthusiasm ahead of SBT2 and I cannot wait to get going again.

- Teacher

Thank you! The lecture you gave today at Brighton University was superb, a real inspiration to see that it is still possible to create a more holistic approach to learning that isn’t ruled by the chasing of numbers and figures; that views children as human beings with infinite potential rather than statistics. I would love to have any further tips you are willing to share that would help me implement this ethos into my teaching approach. I really felt that the information you provided today complemented yesterday’s lecture on ability grouping and has given me plenty of food for thought about my practice in the future.

- Teacher

Firstly, thank you for such a refreshing lecture this morning. Speaking with fellow students, it's easy to get bogged down with worrying about planning and progression and levels, but this morning has been an exciting reminder of the joys of working with children. I noticed you mentioned maths investigations in your presentations which really interested me. I am teaching my first lesson of this placement this week, and have been asked to focus on an investigation that uses multiplication. Although I have looked at various websites and books I am yet to be inspired. Do you know of any resources that may be of use to me? I am working with a year 3 class of varied ability and really want to inspire and engage them, but so far I am not finding anything which I think could successfully do this.

- Teacher

Recent Events

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

18 Sep 19
I will be introducing the wonders of JONK in each classroom working alongside the children in each class, running a workshop for parents and leading a professional development meeting for staff after school. more

The Joy of Not Knowing Leadership Course for Headteachers and Senior Leaders | Montpelier School Ealing

17 Sep 19
Marcelo Staricoff, FCCT, NPQH, PHD presents an introductory briefing on The Joy of Not Knowing (JONK) philosophy of education and leadership exclusicely for the Headteachers of Ealing Primary Schools. The Joy of Not Knowing (JONK) philosophy of education and leadership focuses on key principal areas of influence, linked to the new Inspection Framework’s three stage vision of excellence: Intent, Implementation, Impact. more

A JONK Enrichment Day for Sixth Form Students | St James Senior Girls' School, London

04 Sep 19
These practical JONK sessions will introduce Year 12 and Year 13 students to a wealth of initiatives designed to develop their creative, critical and philosophical thinking, equipping them with all they need to become intrinsically motivated to want to learn and successful as lifelong learners. more

JONK INSET Day at Hopton Primary School | VNET (Norfolk)

03 Sep 19
A JONK INSET Day to launch the 2019-2020 academic year with a JONK Learning to Learn Week more

Upcoming Events

JONK Workshop at Optimus Conference | Manchester | Manchester Conference Venue

26 Sep 19
The Conference is Entitled 'Supporting the Progress of the More Able. The JONK workshops will provide participants with a wealth of practical and easy to implement ideas to inspire, challenge and motivate the more able and all children #oeMoreAble more

JONK Workshop at Optimus Conference | London | London Conference Venue

04 Oct 19
The Conference is entitled 'Supporting the Progress of the More Able (#oeMoreAble). The JONK workshops will provide participants with a wealth of practical and easy to implement ideas to inspire, challenge and motivate the more able and all children more

Latest News Stories

My interview on 'Curiosity' has just been published on the Yurt Academy website

The Yurt Academy interviewed me for their latest conversation pieces on the subject of curiosity. It was a real pleasure and honour to discuss my thoughts with Bridget Rooth

Masterclasses at Coram Children's Charity | Tomorrow's Achievers

It is a great honour to be running regular Masterclasses as part of Tomorrow's Achievers, a Coram Educational Trust Initiative |

JONK and the YURT Academy | A Partnership Created Through Shared Values and Philosophies

It is a wonderful privilege that the JONK approach has been incorporated as a Yurt Academy Masterclass | Curious Creative Connected

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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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