by Margarita Mooney Clayton on October 2, 2020

When I took a wrong turn while driving with students in Rhode Island in the summer of 2019, we found ourselves driving over a bridge clouded in fog, seemingly going into nowhere. When we came out of the fog, I tried to make a U-turn and ended up doing a figure 8 in the car, getting back on the same foggy bridge going the other direction.

Every day now, as I learn to navigate fully online classrooms, I feel like I’m about to take a wrong turn on a windy New England road and end up going towards a precipice. (or over a bridge to nowhere?)

Back in our classroom in Rhode Island, students drew an image of a car going over a bridge into the fog to represent Luigi Giussani’s educational philosophy as described in his book The Risk of Education. Giussani paints a picture of education as an adventure in which we start off our journey feeling as if our inner light is clouded in fog, but we have faith that we can reach certainty about our questions. Reaching certainty then leads us to ask other questions, and we go into the fog again, with confidence that our journey is not in vain.

Just like the sense of adventurous joy we felt as we crossed the foggy bridge in Rhode Island, this fully online educational journey has sparked my imagination to guide students’ innate desire to learn. The screens cloud our interactions but they can’t destroy the inner creativity of each student. So we set off into the fog, riding together, getting excited about what we learned, and turning around, ready for more.