Teaching kids to ask smart questions
Think about it: A four-year-old asks on average about 400 questions per day, and an adult hardly asks any. Our school system is structured around rewards for regurgitating the right answer, and not asking smart questions - in fact, it discourages asking questions. With the result that as we grow older, we stop asking questions. Yet asking good questions is essential to find and develop solutions, and important skill in innovation, strategy, and leadership. So why do we stop asking questions - and more importantly, why don't we train each other, and our future leaders, to ask the right questions starting from early on?
I've been just reading Die Kunst des klugen Fragens by Warren Berger who suggests that there are three main questions which help in problem solving: why questions, what-happens-if questions, and how questions.
Regardless of the question, the question needs to be phrased openly and positively in order to achieve positive results - a closed or negative question only raises bad feelings against each other.
- Why questions help to find the root of a problem.
- What-if questions open up the floor for creative solutions.
- How questions focus on developing practical solutions.
So, perhaps, this lesson can be adapted to help trigger young children to start solve problems early too and stop accepting whatever the kindergarten teacher says to be fact? And perhaps, continue to keep up these inquiring and probing abilities later on in life? Well, here goes, let's give it a try...
Introducing the Question Game
Preparation: print out the figure in the illustration, cut it out and glue the tabs together to form a cube.
Pick up your favorite illustrated fairy tale book - the kind of book you'd read a two-year-old for bedtime stories. On each page, roll the cube and answer the question together. I'll bet you'd be surprised by what turns Little Red Riding Hood can take... and more importantly, I'll bet that after a while, you and your child will both start asking these questions more often than not!
#Geist #Education #Learning #Questions #ProblemSolving