Running Away with My Own Questions

What does the Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and the co-founders of Goolge, Sergey Brin and Larry Page have in common?

A love of asking questions! And this love was nurtured from an early age.

Questions such as “Why should it be like that?” may seem easy to ask, but question asking is an underrated skill. a skill that is seldom taught. We simply assume that it is easy to ask questions.

Alison Gopnik says,

“Children are the research and development division of the human species. If they are permitted to do that research –  to raise and explore their own questions, through various forms of experimentation, and without being burdened with instruction – they exhibit signs of more creativity and curiosity”

Around 400 questions per day, is what an average 4-year-old asks. As children start preschool, they immediately begin to ask fewer questions. They are entering an environment filled with stimulation, friends, and a specialist question-answer person, teacher, yet the question asking drops dramatically.

Children who ask questions are often not appreciated , they may be regarded as disturbing. it is also difficult to let go of the idea that it is the teacher who asks the questions. But there are several benefits with allowing children to explore their own questions. A “good” question allows a child to think about what she already knows.

But why question the question?

There are metacognitve aspects to question asking. A child needs to step back and think dive not only into what she knows but what others are missing. Our questions can also be flawed. It is easy to be influenced by others and teaching question asking is an effective way to teach children to challenge assumptions.

There are also questions that challenge a child to imagine new ideas. The “What if” questions deals with this aspect.

Some types of questions are focused on the solution and doing aspects. “How do I mix the paints to get sky-blue?”

Look at my materials on Teacher Pay Teacher to get some inspiration.

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