Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #113
Speaking of asking questions, why don’t our students ask more questions?
I saw a stat that I find hard to believe: a student only gets a chance to ask a question in class roughly once every 10 hours.
I can’t fathom that. I certainly don’t see that happening here.
But I will confess that there are numerous times when I will ask my class if they have any questions, and no one raises their hands or asks one.
Yet, I know for a fact that about ten kids have questions. Somewhere a long the way they had the love for questions drubbed out of them.
If you have kids, you know they come into this world hardwired to ask questions. On some trips to Grand Forks, Cash will simply ask questions the entire way.
What happens to this inquisitiveness?
The easy answer is that it gets schooled out of them. I mean could you imagine trying to teach an elementary class where all the kids just ask questions? You’d never get anything done!
While I don’t think it gets schooled out of them, I do think school puts a damper on a child’s love for asking questions. After all, you do have to learn to sit still and be quiet. But why does that repress the desire to ask questions?
By the time my 9th graders walk into LHS, they don’t want to ask a question . . . they just want to get class over with.
I don’t fault their education for this. I think puberty and trying to fit in and those God-awful awkward teenage years are also huge culprits. Plus, I seriously think (at least this was true in my case when I was that age) young teens stop asking questions because they think they knw it all already.
I love this quote from Oscar Wilde: “I’m no longer young enough to know everything.”
So who out there has some great strategies for generating questions?
I don’t think it’s a lost cause, for I have had students (one senior girl from last year comes right to mind) who loved to question everything I said. And I’m not going to lie - there were times she and I got into a discussion that left the rest of the class in the dust. I could see on their faces the expression that said - can’t you just give us the assignment so we can get it over with?
I just wish I knew a way to rekindle that childhood love to questioning and learning more.