#30GoalEdu Journal Reflections

Why are GOOD QUESTIONS so hard to ask?

The answer is because GOOD QUESTIONS do not have one definitive answer.  Knowing the answer is the teacher’s job.  Isn’t it?

In this day and age, most of us will agree that we do our students an injustice if we are not training them to latch on to an issue that compels them to seek out the answers to their own questions.  Testing now not only requires them to supply the right answer, it also requires them to provide a response to a question that will have different answers for different students.  We must be able to teach them that their answer is the right one if they can back it with details and examples.

How do we do this?  How do we get them to tap into themselves and pull out .. an answer or even another question?

That is the problem that I always seem to be faced with.  Many times I will throw out a question and then listen as the crickets sing and wait for an answer, any answer.  I will wait for it … wait for it…. wait for it…. waaaaaaait for it….  Many times I give in to the silence and rephrase the question and then begin the process again. Wait for it … wait for it … and bam!!! A student speaks.  He is not really sure that he has has the answer that I am looking for but because he wants to put me out of my misery will volunteer a response that is not quite what I am looking for but is good enough for me to solicit other questions and/or comments to continue our discussion.

It is difficult to be able to relinquish the control that we have on knowing it all and allow students to figure their way around the material and find the answers to their own questions. I think that we are training ourselves as we train them.  I actually have to count out wait time because I want to take them out of the hotseat as I see them squirm.  But squirming is okay because I am asking them to do something that is new and uncomfortable for them.

I like the question starters on this site because they give me lots of choices.  As I train them to think for themselves, I need choices and help as I train myself ways to help them to think.  The site lists categories that will give you examples of good question/conversation starters.

This post came from the 30 Goal Challenge. Investigate and Instigate Questions is Goal 6 of the 30 Goal Challenge.

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