The Infinite Game of Learning is Afoot

teacher with students in classroom

I have to confess; I love the Sherlock Holmes stories. “Quick Watson, the game is afoot”, is an often-quoted statement from Holmes, announcing the start to another mystery. For Sherlock, the game was about solving a puzzle that nobody else could solve. Holmes wanted to win, and he was good at it.

Thinking about Holmes caused me to think about the nature of games. Specifically, it made me wonder, what game are we playing in education? Simon Sinek’s book, The Infinite Game, is about the rules of the games played by all of us. Sinek believes games are either finite, with fixed rules or infinite, with changing rules to keep the game going.

Finite games teach us how to play by rules and strive to win. Infinite games, teach us that rules change, and the whole point is to keep moving forward.

Education is clearly an infinite game. We are striving to build learners, who teach others to learn, so that the process of learning continues throughout life, and across generations. Meaning, in our infinite game is not found in winning, it is found in serving others so they can continue to play the game. Our lives, our work, our connections have purpose, in service to something bigger than a finite measure. Success is not getting the most points; it is defined by the individual in their journey toward becoming their best selves.

Quick, everyone, the infinite game of learning is afoot…

Dr. Dana Anderson, Superintendent
Capital Region ESD 113