Friday, May 31, 2013

"Did you have any good questions today?"

A few weeks ago in church our pastor opened by relating an interview he'd heard on NPR with Elie Wiesel, the author of Night. During the interview Wiesel discussed how when he came home from school his mother wouldn't ask him what he learned, but instead "did you have any good questions today?"

The power of asking that question to a young child is overwhelming.
Did you have any good question?
Did you not just take in the information, but instead studied it, rolled it over in your head, thought about it, and challenged it?
Did you take what you were learning and seek to learn more?
Did you wonder about what you saw throughout your day?
Did you shift from being a passive observer of your day to being an active one?
Did you move beyond participating in required tasks but instead think beyond what is asked of you?
Did you admit to something you didn't understand and try to understand it?

We want to take all of our students beyond being passive learners and make them engaged learners. We want them to think for themselves, interact with what we give them beyond our expectations.

We need more of this in classrooms. It's so easy to teach specific, direction instruction and so easy to measure specific, direct instruction. It's harder to teach and measure questioning, but think about the broader implications when we do.

*unfortunately I have yet to find the npr interview but I will keep looking*

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