The human race is curious by nature; without the curiosity of certain human beings, we would still be stuck in the stone age. Curious minds urge people to question the why, what, how, and when of things. Asking questions opens-up a vast matrix of information floating around to dig upon and comprehend.
Students–the younger ones, especially–are the most curious of all the human beings. Students who are curious and ask questions are the ones who seriously seek answers too. It is no hidden fact that asking questions is an indispensable tool. Questioning can help learn, explore and adapt to changes.
In our educational system, we often find that while answers are applauded and questions are seen as a sign of weakness. It’s therefore the parent’s and the teacher’s combined responsibility to provide a conducive environment for kids to ask questions.
There are several ways in which you can encourage your child to ask questions in the classroom and even outside it, here are some of them:
Provide A Safe Haven For Questioning
Asking questions can be scary for kids especially when most of the kids perceive questioning to be a weakness, or an ego issue in front of other classmates. Teachers must take the responsibility to change the game by designing an environment where asking question seems interesting and welcoming, and where curiosity is rewarded. Parents must do the same at home by treating the ability to question as a strength and not a weakness.
Make Questioning The New Cool
Kids at school are under the impression that it is “cool” to know everything or ignore it if they don’t. What if parents (and teachers like they do in Pearson Schools) take the responsibility to help kids understand that asking questions is the greatest sign of intellect? Give your children (and students) examples of Sir Isaac Newton or Alexander Fleming, who were the explorers, mavericks, rebels–and the coolest of the lot.
Questioning Can Be A Playful Activity
Kids enjoy learning things if it is learnt with an element of play involved. There are countless ways to inject a game element in the exercise of questioning, like converting answers into questions, making it an open-ended question, or a closed question. Designing questions with Why, What, and How, to encourage students to tap into their questioning abilities making it a fun activity.
Make Questioning Challenging and Rewarding
Aim to create a path for the students to find a meaningful answer to every question without Googling it. The whole point is to make students spend some time thinking over questions, grappling with them, and coming up with a result after complete understanding–something that could lead to a well deserved reward!
Make Questioning A Habit
All the above mentioned activities are to create a lifelong habit to question and learn, and to pave a path to develop it into a behaviour. People who question are the ones who learn to observe things differently. Every parent must inculcate in their children the habit to question and then articulate.
What are some ways in which you inculcate the habit of questioning at home and/or classroom?