Tony Gurr

To THUNK or not to THUNK…

In Our Schools, Our Universities, The Paradigm Debate on 17/06/2013 at 5:34 pm

Are you man made (thunk)

Does that make your brain go “ouch”!


A lot of people ask me why I use the word thunk so often – and I do…sorry!

I’ve even had people leave a little note on my laptop (after a workshop session or presentation) saying things like this:

THUNK (post it)

Ahhh, that’s so sweet!


The term THUNK is not mine…well, it is (it belongs to everyone now), actually – after Ian Gilbert gifted it to us in his wonderful book The Little Book of THUNKS – 260 questions to make your brain go ouch!

…way back in 2007.


Some of Ian’s questions are just so much fun

3 Thunks (Ian Gilbert)


I think I found the book a year later, when I was in Australia.

I used it so much with advanced LEARNers…and people who wanted to take their (already great) language skills to the next level…that I wore out my first copy! But, even younger adults just love them, too.


Neyse, when I started the blog…it just fell into my bloggery lexicon – but my questions were not necessarily designed to make anyone’s brain go “ouch”.

I guess I just wanted more of us to “thunk”…in verb form!

…and, I wanted to build my blog on educational issues and questionsEDUthunks, if you will.


You know, questions like:

EDUthunk 01


Yeah…I know, my questions are a lot longer!


This one is not too bad:

EDUthunk 02


And, what about from that lastmini-dizi I did:

Motivation THUNK


My head is still “ouching” from that one!


These “ouches” are good for us all – afterall, is it not questions that drive all our LEARNing? 


LEARNing (Adams quote) Ver 02


Ian tells us that “THUNK” is also the “noise that the brain makes when it starts to think about a thunk“! I loved that…and I listen to my own head whenever I get a thunk down on the blog…


Are there any EDUnoises your head is making today?


  1. The thunks I’m thinking that go thunk in my head are why do we force kids through a standard core curriculum rather than let them choose what they wish to explore? What do tests measure? Has education fallen behind the real needs of world citizens today? and How can I become more aware of the world outside the bubble I inhabit (with others in similar situations who share similar beliefs and opinions)?
    Perhaps they are rhetorical questions.

    • Anne,

      I HEAR YOUso much 😉

      And, you know what? It’s good our heads make these noises – perhaps, one day, these noises will become so loud…that “others” start to LISTEN and invite us all into a “group-THUNK” 😉

      Keep up the good fight – and the thunks 😉


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