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Questions hold the Power of a Thousand Watt

Curious neurons collide when the right set of questions pierce young minds

Each one of us is the product of questions we raise. They open the doors of possibilities, probabilities and discoveries. It is the power of the questions only, which made humans the highest evolved amongst all.

As far as teaching learning process is concerned, it is not just about allowing students to question but also asking right questions to them rather than expecting right answers from them. A great question can bring students at a state where they feel movement in brain, inquisitiveness in the mind and restlessness in the heart, till they explore possibilities, expand their horizon, get solutions and reach to a higher level of intellect.

A curriculum which has room for the questions is the best curriculum.

It ensures attentiveness: Any start up question in a class ensures mental attendance of the students, while regular roll call checks only physical attendance of the students.

It motivates independent learning: The complex questions can be simplified into small sub questions whose answers can be proposed by students themselves so as to reach to final solution. This would bring self confidence and self esteem amongst students.

Questions are the engines of the intellect, the cerebral machine, which convert energy to motion and curiosity to controlled inquiry.” – David Fischer

Students’ voices need to be heard, their queries ought to be respected and the possible answers need to be accepted. No question is a waste. The students can be encouraged to note down all sorts of questions which arise in their minds in a day and gradually can be helped to get the answers. Subjects like Science, Mathematics and even languages can be taught effectively with the help of right questions.

Mathematics:

At primary level, where students do not show interest in doing direct sums with basic mathematical operations, instead of asking them to solve the questions, they can be given the answers and asked to get suitable questions. For example, students at primary classes can be given a number, say 25 and they need to suggest possible equations (questions) whose answer is 25. In simple words, they can be asked that 25 is the answer of ….?

What (?)  = 25

Here students will have various combinations of operations, like

5×5, 25×1, 100/4, 50-25, 25/1, 200/8, 26-1, 20+5 and so on

In fact 25 can be answer of, no. of girls in the class, date of birth of a student, price of a Burger, number of benches in the class, bus route of a student…

Science:

Questions are the soul of Sciences. All inventions and discoveries are the result of a question appearing at certain time period which did not come in someone’s mind before.

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” Albert Einstein.

Any model or thing can be shown and students can be encouraged to ask questions about that particular thing.

Languages:

Mostly an unseen passage is followed by a set of questions which need to be answered from the passage. The purpose is to develop the reading skills and concentration. This can also be enhanced by asking the children to read the passage and frame 5-6 questions of their own which can cover the passage effectively. Usually, we need to know the answers before framing a question so purpose gets achieved.

Innovation begins when people are given the freedom to ask questions and the resources and power to find the answers.” Richard Branson

Life Skills:

As a life skills teacher, you are tasked with helping your students live independently and conquer the various challenges that life presents. This can mean a lot of different things. One of the most important aspects of life skills, however, is problem-solving, which can be best achieved by presenting better questions.

Students will be well equipped to face a number of life’s inevitable obstacles if they can:

  • think about problems from different perspectives
  • take their time approaching problems
  • talk problems over with others
  • test out different solutions

The questions can be designed to help students develop life skills and also practice their problem solving skills. The teacher can present these problems to students for group discussions, small group or partnership brainstorming, or independent reflections.

 Questions in the final question papers would never be difficult to crack if all sort of questions are handled in the class room during teaching learning process. Hence welcome the questions with open mind to receive beautiful results later.

-Asha Bhatia 

Life Skill Trainer and Principal of Rankers International School, Indore

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