Good question or bad question – it is all about ‘challenging students’ versus ‘confusing students’. In thought provoking questions there is an intriguing curiosity hidden behind those simple sentences starting with ‘Why’ and ‘How’ which changes the whole world for all learners, be it any age group. In closed questions, there is an underlying message which sounds like ‘Answer what is asked in yes or no, and mission accomplished!’ As educators, this is the question we should all be asking ourselves: are my questions opening or shutting down the thinking faculties of my students?
Clocks and old watches are miracles. If you’ve ever taken one apart and had a look at the intricate gears with their jutting teeth reaching out with just the right math to tick in rhythm with the pulse of the universe, you’ll see that whatever mind conjured the thing and all its parts is mad.
Imagine the dogged pursuit of a proper clock-maker, day after day bound up in design and measurement and function and orderly thinking, forcing exactitude on little bits of metal that never asked for it. And then finally getting it right–so many decisions and matters of design suddenly set the clock off ticking forever.
Get inside the mind of a clock-maker—one who still experiments with matters of design, improving their craft with minor revisions of planning and execution—and suddenly you’re seeing from ground zero how things come to be, first in a humble glow, then a blinding white starlight that bleaches everything.
Questioning is the art of learning. Learning to ask important questions is the best evidence of understanding there is, far surpassing the temporary endorphins of a correct “answer.”
That’s not to say that good questions shouldn’t be challenging, and that students might not hit a spot where they feel confused. They might. But a challenged learner and a confused learner are not the same.
It’s not all about “rigor” either. Bad questions can be rigorous—force learners to think on higher-level planes—synthesis, evaluation, close analysis—and still be bad.
Read full article here Why Questions Are More Important Than Answers