James Daniel & Associates Weblog

November 3, 2007

Questions Are More Important Than Answers

Filed under: Questioning and Learning — jamesdanielassociates @ 11:02 am

We think that the most important thing for students to learn is to ask questions. We base our thinking on the following beliefs. First, we contend that questions are the root of all learning. When there is no question of who, what, when, where, why, or how, we submit that learning has no purpose. Second, we advocate that student questions are more important than teacher questions. When students have questions prior to their learning, the students become engaged in finding the information to answer their questions. Third, we submit that appropriate questions give students a way to connect new information with prior knowledge. When students are encouraged to pose questions that cannot be answered by one word or one phrase, the students begin to reach for the higher levels of critical thinking and focus on thoughts not answers.

We know that having students develop their own questions is not easy. Students are reluctant to ask questions because they may appear to lack knowledge. We also know students may not ask critical thinking questions because they do not know how to phrase the question. Because of this challenge, we are asking teachers to respond to our blog by giving ideas of what they do to stimulate questions from students. Please give us your ideas so that other teachers may be able to use your technique to develop questioning skills among students.


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