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Questioning and Learning

Cloud to Ground Learning

Warren Burger’s book A More Beautiful Question  has gotten me thinking about the relationship between questioning and learning.   It points out that young children ask questions constantly, but the rate slows down when they go to preschool.  By the time children get to middle school, they’re focused on answering teachers’ questions rather than posing their own.  There’s surely a developmental component to this decline, but it’s structural, too: schools focus on answers, penalizing wrong ones, and they leave little room for the questions of learners.

This topic reminds me of a four-year-old child who came to visit my family one time.  He had a new toy in his hand, and the minute he got in the door, he showed it to me, flipped it over, and took out the battery, toy batterysaying, “See?  This is what makes it work!”  He was answering a question that hadn’t even occurred to me.  In…

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