I love magic tricks. They often make my brain race, straining for some explanation of how the impossible was possible. Most of the time that’s where it ends: with wonder and amazement.

Sometimes I cheat though. I occasionally go to YouTube and search for a video to explain what I saw. What’s interesting is how quickly my opinion of the trick changes. My astonishment quickly fades and instead I wonder how their technique wasn’t always obvious to me.

My favorite word for describing this new feeling is “postdictable.” When something is predictable, it’s obvious what’s going to happen… before it happens. When something is postdictable, it’s obvious what’s going to happen… after it happens.

We’ve all had moments where we’ve heard about something new that we had never considered but instantly realized was brilliant.


Application To Education
If you’re anything like most teachers, you’ve had many instances in your career where in one moment you had never heard of something, then someone showed it to you, and then you quickly realized it was brilliant and something you wanted too. These ideas immediately seemed postdictable: how did we not always know this great idea?

I asked teachers on social what they found postdictable in education. You can read their full responses on Twitter and Facebook but here are some of my favorites. While some may be familiar, I imagine some will also be postdictably brilliant too.


I hope you enjoy using postdictable to describe what you’re seeing too. I’d also like to know what’s been postdictable for you in your career. Please let me know in the comments below.

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