JONK News

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


How to nurture, cultivate and integrate curiosity across all aspects of work and of life using the Joy of Not Knowing (JONK) philosophy and approach

Curiosity opens up endless opportunities for us all within all aspects of our lives. Curiosity enables us to develop the invaluable quality of being intrinsically motivated to want to learn, to know, to discover, to postulate new ideas, to discuss different alternatives, to wonder and to explore wisdom in a way that makes anything and everything seem exciting and possible.

In this workshop, we will explore the principles that underpin the Joy of Not Knowing philosophy of education and of life that has evolved through a lifetime of practice in the worlds of science and of education.

We will learn why it is so transformational to enjoy not knowing and to nurture our creativity at each of the four different stages of learning that the JONK model identifies and that apply to all aspects of our lives. We will explore how to use curiosity to become experts of creative, critical and philosophical thinking and as a way of developing the dispositions, skills and strategies that enable us to structure our thinking, develop our communication skills, view concepts from different points of view and thrive as lifelong learners.

Participants will:

  • Understand the processes that define the different stages of learning and transform the way they perceive the learning process and themselves as learners
  • Overcome barriers and develop intrinsic motivation
  • Develop strategies that promote curiosity across all areas of work and life
  • Obtain a wide range of curiosity-enabling practical tools; thinking skills starters, philosophy to explore objectives at work, concept lines, fortune lines, concept cartoons, resilience, reflectiveness, resourcefulness, creativity, problem solving strategies, mind-mapping, concept maps, De Bono’s Hats and PMIs, improvisation and the multi-factorial lens of perspectives for every aspect being considered

‘Inspirational to the point of transformational’ (Headteacher, Isle of Man)


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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