Questions are waypoints on the path of wisdom. Each question leads to one or more new questions or answers. Sometimes answers are dead ends; they don’t lead anywhere. Questions are never dead ends. Every question has the inherent potential to lead to a new level of discovery, understanding, or creation, levels that can range from the trivial to the sublime. (Lichtman, 35 pag.)
Are we willing to risk trying new things – letting go of some of our traditional methods – to model new learning? What if we offer our learners more opportunities to chart their own path from where they are to the target? Is the path they take as important as the learning they acquire? How can we create investigations that prompt students to make observations and ask their own questions?
- Do you ever worry about student-directed learning? Does it mean that the teacher is not engaged? How are we supposed to teach if we don’t tell them stuff? What if we asked our learners to show what they know before we teach and reteach? Are we assuming that they know nothing because they are, well, young?
- It is possible to lead learners to an understanding of commas by asking them questions? Could we offer young learners the opportunity to develop an understanding of the rules for themselves through the use of examples and visual metaphors? Could learners decode how to correctly place commas to separate the elements in a series and in compound sentences without being told the rule first?
- How often do we underestimate young learners? What if we engage as learning partners with our young learners? What if we ask questions that have many answers? What if we ask questions without knowing the answers?
- How often do we risk trying something new and out of our planned comfort? How often do we risk collaborating with others to observe and learn from each other? Is it so easy to do what I’m good at that I am unwilling to risk?
Why would learners take risks if I won’t?
Learner, Thinker, Writer: Jill Gough serves as Director of Teaching and Learning at Trinity School. She risks, questions and seeks feedback to improve. You can follow her on Twitter at @jgough.
[Cross posted on Flourish.]
Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.