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Embracing ambiguity: Why predictive metrics aren't helping

ASU alum shares how he learned to embrace the unknown during a TED-Ed talk

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Shawn Loescher

March 05, 2020

Last year, Arizona State University alumnus Shawn Loescher presented his TED-Ed talk at the TEDSummit in Edinburgh, Scotland. Loescher, CEO of Urban Discovery Schools, was one of just 16 extraordinary innovators worldwide recognized by the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program for his leadership in advancing education.

Loescher, a graduate of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, leads Urban Discovery Schools, an inner-city pre-K–12 school system that embraces a design thinking-based curriculum developed with student input. 

Loescher’s talk, “Embrace ambiguity! Why predictive metrics aren't helping,” recounts how the tumultuous experience of his child being born prematurely taught him to embrace ambiguity. 

In the neonatal intensive care unit, each new diagnosis from a specialist came with a predictive metric for his child’s future.

“Let me tell you, it has been wrong more times than not," he said. “I was reminded how not to confuse statistical probability with human possibility,” he said.

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