What good questions did you ask today?

“What good questions did you ask today?” A typical question asked of school students each day is “What did you learn today?” Students answer to this question changes as they move from Kindergarten to Year 12. As most parents know the answer tends to become “nothing”.

Students become less interested in just knowing stuff and sharing their content knowledge with their parents as they become older. As they become older they disassociate “knowing stuff” with learning, they become more interested in being able to apply their knowledge ie is they become more interested in doing.  We are moving from content based learning to helping students to be better able to effectively use that information. Being able to remember or recall information is the bottom rung of Bloom’s taxonomy. Whereas; synthesis and creating is at the top of Bloom’s taxonomy. It is important to move students to the upper end of Bloom’s taxonomy, to help them learn those higher order thinking skills. To become more creative learn, to be able ask questions and know how to seek answers to those questions. This lead to far deeper knowledge and understanding: and consequently engagement in learning. Encouraging questions and assisting developing skills to seek answers to those questions increases student engagement in learning.

Developing a core of curiosity and question leads to our future innovators and entrepreneurs: those people who create the jobs of the future in our community. What can we do to nurture curiosity, question, discovery and exploration? Maybe a good place to start is by asking “What good questions did you ask today?”

What is a good question? If you can type the question into a search engine such as Google and the answer pops up then we could have asked a better question? A good question can be one that makes you think, challenges beliefs, makes you look at the familiar in a different way. A good question can lead to other questions, it can direct your learning, increase your engagement in a topic and arouse curiosity.

Asking good questions also an important skill everyone involved in education: teachers and education. It is particularly important skill for school leaders. School leaders need to question educational current practice, both within and outside the school, they need to question all aspects of school life and culture – to ensure that the students within their school are receiving the best possible education. These questions and answers are important because they directly impact on the education of our students.

Possibly the most important question to ask and answer for any change is the “why” question. When leading change it is always important to start with the heart.  

 So what good questions did you ask today