The 55-Minute Question

The 55-Minute Question

The 55 Minute Question is a show inspired by questions, and the thinking that follows them. It is a show that is loosely inspired by a quote attributed to Einstein: that to solve a problem, spend 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, and the remaining 5 minutes on the solution. The 55 Minute Question is a show that believes what education needs now, more than ever, is big ideas and a space to try them on. Because as Chris Phillips writes in Socrates Cafe, and Gord Downie sang, “life is not a dress rehearsal.” This is our life.


March 13, 2021 61 min
This week on The 55 Minute Question, Stephen and Cameron discuss making the room for people to change, frequently. We wonder about impressions, and how they shape how we see others, ourselves, and our students. We ask how we can develop a capacity to see the world in the dualities and paradoxes in front of us, rather than with the shortcuts of the past.
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This week on The 55 Minute Question, Stephen and Cameron discuss the importance of being seen. We remark at the power of being reminded of the child by seeing childhood photos; and wonder about reframing what we see in the context of Dean James Ryan's 5 Essential Questions. Inspired in part by the power of letters that help us see the humans in front of us, we continue to seek a path, rather than a shortcut to a world improved...
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In this week's episode of "The 55 Minute Question", Stephen and Cameron discuss a question from the previous week: why are we driven the way we are? What does it mean to "be seen" in the context of contribution? If our frames of reference, our world view, are tools, do they enable us or weigh us down? And if they weigh us down, do we know enough to drop them before it's too late?
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Stephen and Cameron discuss the idea of imbalance, and wonder if a spotlight on ourselves as works in progress might attune us to the infinite mindset so essential to lifelong learning. We ask how reframing our observations about development, and possibility in children, not as gaps, or loss, but as the innate imbalance of life might shift how we understand learning for all.
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February 5, 2021 60 min
Continuing with our theme of shortcuts, Stephen and Cameron discuss the foundational, driving questions for a Royal Commission on Learning; we consider how essential glib notions about education might actually be to the conversation, and, try as we might, we get stuck in why on a path to how, all along thinking about the infinite mindset necessary to imagine an education focussed on children and learning.
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January 28, 2021 61 min
In the first episode of season 2, Cam and Stephen think about shortcuts: are we beginning to see cracks in education, in society, that come from a shallow attention to the parts of a whole? As the pandemic forces structures to be questioned, changed, improved, are the silos that result beginning to cause greater harm? By asking why, and dwelling on the full narrative, do we begin to reframe our models, and in turn discover better s...
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November 26, 2020 60 min
Cam and Stephen look back on the last 15 weeks of The 55-minute Question, remembering highlights, consolidating learning and imagining the conversations that could become part of Season 2
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Spurred on by a recent media piece suggesting that final standardized exams are not to be sacrificed in this time of pandemic disturbances, Cameron Jones asks whether or not we are even posing the right questions when it comes to measuring learning.
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November 12, 2020 61 min
In the final instalment of a 3 part series inspired by Seymour Sarason’s provocation, “And What Do You Mean By Learning?”, Cameron Jones and Stephen Hurley begin a conversation about the capacity and mindset of public education to deliver on the kind of relevant learning that encourages students to see their contributions in a world built in their image. The discussion culminates in our forming a way forward for the conversations ...
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In the second installment of a 3 part series inspired by Seymour Sarason's provocation, “And What Do You Mean By Learning?”, Cameron Jones and Stephen Hurley speak with Brandon Busteed (Kaplan; Forbes Magazine) about a community model of learning that we've moved away from. We discuss #WhatLearningLooksLike if it is truly "lifelong", and why the present has morphed into a "critical reflective moment" for th...
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Cameron Jones and Stephen Hurley begin a 3-part series of exploration into the question of learning and, in particular, life-long learning.
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October 23, 2020 59 min
Cameron Jones and Stephen Hurley reach back to the earliest recorded thought to frame a conversation about capacity and complacency, agency and apathy, our imaginations and the stories we live into. We explore progress and the importance of acknowledging how far humanity has come as a catalyst for how far we still have left to go.
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October 15, 2020 61 min
Tonight Cameron and Stephen explore the connections between ways of knowing and ways of being, our views of the capability of the child and the difference between seeing teaching as the work of a gardener as opposed to a carpenter.
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October 7, 2020 60 min
Today, Cameron and Stephen discuss Ruth Bader Ginsburg's "dissenter’s hope," curiosity, becoming, and and hope as agency rather than happenstance. We ponder whether we are asking enough questions? And if so, how can we nudge ourselves to a place of not either/or, but everything in between?
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September 30, 2020 59 min
Cameron Jones and Stephen Hurley convene for some laughs...literally. An exploration of the importance of recognizing the joy and learning inherent in the play of children, and how we can make that a more intentional part of the way we look at schooling.
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September 24, 2020 62 min
Today, Cameron and Stephen explore the idea that a year's worth of input should equal a year's worth of growth. Are we creating the conditions in schools that honour “a year’s growth for a year’s input” for all? If not, then why for some and not others? Can a school honour different spheres, different participants differently, with different expectations, without being incoherent?
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Cameron Jones and Stephen Hurley dig a little deeper into the idea of public education as a public good: what that means and who the "public" in public education actually is—or should be.
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September 10, 2020 59 min
Cameron and Stephen welcome Toronto-based educator, Brandon Zoras. Brandon was recently featured in a Globe and Mail article on "opportunity hoarding" in education, as families move towards a very different "return to school".

What is the purpose of public education? Is it about "my" children or "our children"? Or is there a way to allow both interests to live in the same space?

Here's a link to th...
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September 3, 2020 65 min
This week, Cameron Jones is joined by Craig Cardiff and Stephen Hurley to explore the idea of school as place. What is that place meant to be? What should it be? Cameron and Stephen reflect on Stuart Shanker's concept of 'haven', and Craig adds some powerful reflections on the importance and nature of home.
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August 19, 2020 59 min
In Episode 0, Cameron Jones and Stephen Hurley explore the concept for the 55-Minute Question podcast, some of what grounds their thinking and what they hope to dig into this season.

As a starting point, they tackle the need for more philosophical thinking in our education conversations and begin their journey by looking at what we really mean when we talk about learning.
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