Formulating thought-provoking questions for a topic is no easy task. These are the kinds of questions that should maintain a lively discussion and have a purpose. What’s the purpose? Get the students thinking “beyond the box” and generating their own questions. The teacher should guide the students in developing questions that provide answers to their queries but at the same time lead them to question these answers. Sound confusing? Students (and teachers) should always seek to find new solutions to old problems. That’s called progress. Isn’t that what research is all about? We revisit the past to discover what went wrong and how to right it.
Students should not accept everything at face value. They should continually ask questions such as, “Why must this be like it is? Can it be another way? How can it be better? What can I do to change it?” The student should ask a good question each day. It stimulates the brain and speeds up the learning process.
The quest for knowledge should never stop once the student is out of formal schooling. Learning should be a lifetime pursuit. Good questions must always be part of that learning. The teacher is instrumental in this process and should make it a priority.
Isidor I. Rabi, the Nobel laureate in physics once told why he became a scientist. Most mothers would ask their children what they learned in school on any given day. He was asked by his mom every day: “Izzy, did you ask a good question today?”
We might not expect all our students to be recipients of a Nobel laureate but we should expect them to ask good questions.