One of the things I have been pondering lately is that if the ability to question is an important skill for students to develop, how do we recognise those students leading the way? Schools regularly reward students who can provide great answers, how could we reward those who provide great questions?
Could this be how we unlock and develop the creativity and innovation in students? Provide something to strive towards.
I’m imagining school prizegivings where alongside the top sports people and top subject prize winners there are awards for the students who asked such amazing questions that it unlocked a whole new area of inquiry for them or fellow students.
School honour boards replaced (or to give people something to hold onto, perhaps alongside) by Question hall of fames. In fact these don’t have to be school-wide, you could implement this in your class straight away. It’s something I’m planning to do next term!
Or, go along the path that Meghan Cureton from Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta has and create an honours programme for those questioners and innovators. Their Innovation Diploma is an incredibly inspiring programme that I am already bugging our Principal to consider how we could adapt this for our school (and we don’t even have final year students for 3 1/2 years yet!).
How else could we reward questions and questioners in our schools?
It’s time to set myself a challenge. I have been reading A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger (which I highly recommend) and have been struck by the fact that to develop questioning in students we need to model how we use questioning.
ICOT was easily the best conference that I have been part of. It provided a mass of ideas and thoughts in a good balance of keynote and breakout sessions. I met lots of great people that I had known only over twitter previously and also had great discussions with completely new people. Everyone of these discussions was a valuable addition to my week at the conference and many of these people have now become part of my wider personal learning network through twitter. There are a string of great comments and blogs coming out (see other blogs on these links by Karen, Matt and Stephanie) but here is my final wrap up of the conference. Continue reading →
Some statements and questions to reflect on from the breakouts I attended at ICOT on Wednesday and Thursday
Embodied thinking is intuitive, ‘rational’ decisions are usually after-the-fact justifications
How do you develop students’ intuitive thinking?
Thinking in the spaces between individuals or ideas is a more apt metaphor for the changes afforded by information technologies
We need to push past our urge to stick with people like us. Learn to love difference – then you will learn
Epistemic experiences are moments when we become conscious of something about our knowing
Martin Renton – In the Learning Pit
Moving from clarity to confusion is a positive step in the learning process
No such thing as a bad question. The important part is the reason for asking the question
Get comfortable with silence, it helps us process our thinking
How often do you question to confuse your students
Active thinking is where creative, critical and caring thinking overlap
Do your inquiries allow for passion, persistence and purpose?
“I don’t want a project, I want something with a purpose”
Don’t just think differently, act differently
Good teachers are always learning from their students
Lesson plans are hallucinations
Karen Melhuish Spencer
Social networks privilege the individual, online communities privilege the relationship
Do you use social networks to check or challenge your thinking?
What social network has the most effective impact on your teaching? How? Can you prove this?
As educators we are morally obliged to share our practice for the good of all students