Hint Education

November 25, 2012 by John Andrew Williams

I was at my local library in Hollywood, Portland, Oregon which I love. One of the chief reasons: the staff pick section right at the opening of the stacks. I’m in habit of plucking a book or two at the last minute just to see what comes up. And last Saturday I found a little book called Hint Fiction published in 2011 by Robert Swartwood.

The introduction alone is worth the whole book.

The idea is to put together a story of 25 words of fewer. Somewhere between the six word story and a drabble (a story with exactly 100 words) and a dribble (50 words). Think of it as a prose haiku.

And the word count is merely a structure to make sure that you get to the point. And the point is not to create a complete story with a beginning, middle, and an end, but to provide the reader with a hint of a story, to meet the reader halfway. As an author, you are merely offering the reader a suggestion which entices the reader’s mind to do the work to create the other half of the story.

Advice is useful. But it’s like someone providing 100% of the answers. Life Coaching works like hint fiction. It provides you a structure and a framework for you to come up with your own answers and do the work to create what’s most needed.

As I was reading Hint Fiction I got to thinking about education and how in classrooms, most teachers strive to put together complete lessons with no gaps, few places where students can fill in their own knowledge and put in half of the work. Yet there must be a way for teachers to let the students do more of the work, even in the creation of deciding what are we going to learn today?

So here’s the question to you, dear readers of this blog:

What do you think hint education would look like?

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