A piece of “what”: questions are wind in the sails on open seas, not speed bumps on “coverage road”

Questions are waypoints on the path of wisdom.
– Grant Lichtman, The Falconer

The difference between grappling and other forms of learning is that when the questions become the students’ own, so do the answers.
– Sizer and Sizer, The Students Are Watching

Questions are places in your mind where answers fit. If you haven’t asked the question, the answer has nowhere to go. It hits your mind and bounces right off. You have to ask the question – you have to want to know – in order to open up the space for the answer to fit.
– Clay Christensen as quoted by Jason Fried on “Why Can’t Someone Be Taught Until They’re Ready To Learn?” on Farnam Street blog

Great questions have legs. They propel the learning forward.
– Edna Sackson, “Great questions have legs…” blog post on What Ed Said

Have you ever gotten annoyed by repetitive questioning? In many ways, it’s natural to feel such annoyance at certain times. Yet, if the questioner is genuinely curious and inquiring authentically, then there is great reason to exercise patience and understanding.

Have you ever encountered a classroom where questions become discouraged? On more than a few occasions, I have heard a teacher indicate, “No more questions! We have too much to cover.” And I have read teacher-tip books about techniques and manipulatives for limiting students to a certain number of questions per class period.

When did questions become speed bumps instead of wind in the sails? Do you see questions as slow-down frustrations or travel-spurring energies?

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
– Plutarch

As a new year begins, here’s to those who strive to UNCOVER and DISCOVER…not just COVER.

[“A piece of ‘why,'” A piece of ‘what,'” and A piece of ‘how'” are strands of a series on why school needs to change, what about school needs to change, and how schools might navigate the change. This post was originally published on August 10, 2012 at It’s About Learning.]

About boadams1

Learner. Husband. Dad. Chief Learning and Innovation Officer at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, GA. Have worked in transformation design, educational innovation, and school leadership for 20+ years.
This entry was posted in Inquiry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s