In education we spend a lot of energy figuring out if student work is good or not. And although this isn’t necessarily wasted energy, asking if something is good or not might not be the most important question.
When Peter H. Reynolds got the initial idea for his book, The Dot, he had fallen asleep while drawing and his marker stuck to the page. He woke up to a huge dot created by his marker bleeding onto the page. By the vast majority of drawing standards, this dot wouldn’t be deemed good. If Peter had solely judged his drawing on whether it was good or not, it could have been easily dismissed. Thankfully for us, he found something interesting about it, and engaged with it, and found a larger meaning in his “bad” drawing.
I think a lot of great work doesn’t come out of good work, I think it mostly has its roots in interesting work. Let’s help our students pay attention to the things they pay attention to, the things that they find interesting. This is where their unique voice lives. This is where the great work waits.