Embracing ambiguity: Why predictive metrics aren't helping


Meghan Krein

Last year, Shawn Loescher (EdD ’18) presented his TED-Ed Talk at the TEDSummit in Edinburgh, Scotland. Loescher, CEO of Urban Discovery Schools, was just one of 16 extraordinary innovators worldwide recognized by the TED-Ed Innovative Educator program for his leadership in advancing education. Loescher 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 his tumultuous journey in becoming the father of a child with a diagnosis and how he learned to embrace ambiguity. “I was reminded how not to confuse statistical probability with human possibility,” he says.

Each diagnosis Loescher’s child was given came with a label, and with that label came a predictive metric for his child’s future, he says, adding, “Let me tell you, it has been wrong more times than not.”