I attended a small rural high school in the middle of a tight knit community. We were lucky enough to have shop classes, home economics, and advance math placement courses. For a few years I attended Mr. Smith's advance algebra/calculus for junior and seniors. It was difficult, but entertaining, and looking back it was one of my favorite classes. Mr. Smith asked questions, after questions. It just didn't stop. I remember thinking, "Just give me the formal so we can move on." He was persistent and made us work through each problem meticulously and endlessly by discovering our own solution with his use of questioning.
I was reminded of Mr. Smith's use of questioning when I returned to college. Many of my university professors used the same strategy. To answer them required reflection, persistence, and effort. It was grueling at time but tremendously rewarding. The questions I learned to ask myself gave me the drive to figure things out when no one was there to give me "the formula". As an instructional lead learner, I am going back to utilizing questioning strategies not just to guide my own thinking, but to strategically support and engage staff as we lead our school in improvement.
Peery, Patrick, and Moore's work on questioning reminds the reader and myself on the power of a purposeful question. The authors define a powerful question as something that engages ones mind and emotions as we seek answers through metacognition to deepen our own thinking (pg. 17-19). With a students perspective, just think of the power of learning that can occur when you involve your students in the process. Having the students engaged in the conversation and continuing to think is they key" (pg. 29).
The authors also support the reader how to approach questioning in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These critical questions in each content area will not only support the students thinking about their own learning, but in the long run to make them more competitively prepared for the global marketplace. In our society today we need all of our students to communicate more clearly in writing, speaking, reading, and listening at home, school, and eventually in the work place. We can all start by modeling how to ask and answer questions to support us to ponder, consider, think deeply, struggle, and make connections to the people and our world around us (pg. 173).
"Its not the answer that enlightens, but the question." Eugene lonesco