Questioning is the key means by which one can find out what the other person already knows, identify gaps in knowledge and understanding and scaffold the development of their understanding to enable them to close the gap between what they currently know and the learning goals. Like any other skills, questioning is as important as the others and for a young person, its more than something else. That’s why it’s imperative for children to grow with it. To our understanding, questioning is the path that leads to innovative thinking.
Therefore while working with children, asking more than one question, which are often not responded to because they are unsure of which question you want them to answer – But then, asking more than one question in a short time span, helps children to quicken their thinking and reasoning throughout a conversation that will not only make it more interactive, but will also help you measure and improve their learning. By accepting the children’s questions, encouraging them to converse with us, we convey to them that they have value and the things that are on their mind are important and worth dealing with.
By encouraging children to ask questions about what they see or experience, we are helping them take their early, very important steps to gain some sense of control over life. We are helping establish a pattern of questioning that they will carry with them through their lives, through school, through jobs, through their relationships and interactions with others. Not only do we strengthen them as individuals, but also in encouraging our children to question, we strengthen our own society. For in a fully
Democratic society everyone has a given and protected right to ask questions and seek answers. The answers may not always come to us that easily, but by taking our first, tentative steps to seek them out, we are on the way to finding out the truth that is important to us. Teaching a child to ask questions is also a way to give them more confidence in interacting with others because we learn, as we grow up and go for school or job interviews, that we need to engage other people if we want them to receive us and help us. Asking questions is a wonderful way to engage people and invite them into our lives.
WHAT YOU WON’T ASK, WON’T BE ANSWERED!
Here is a list of the 7 questions we believe are important for a young person to ask himself or herself.
- 1: What is most important to you at this time in your life?
- 2: What are you curious about?
- 3: What is your purpose in life? How is it reflected in the way you use your time?
- 4: If you could choose just one thing to change about the world, what would it be?
- 5: What are you known for or would like to be known for?
- 6: What was your biggest mistake?
- 7: What question would we add to this list?
Written and compiled by Emmanuel and Juliet Nabayinda