Thursday, March 20, 2014

Habits of the Mind: Questioning and Posing Problems

Last month, a blog post entitled “What’s More Important:  Knowing the Right Answers or Asking the Right Questions” explored the importance of questions and answers.  This blog referred to the work of Hal Gregersen who argues “That the what-ifs, the why’s, and the why not’s are more vital to shaping a child’s lifelong creative intelligence than knowing the right answers at the right time.”  He goes on to share insights about Steve Jobs who, although he didn’t often have the right answers for his school setting, grew to be a leading innovator of our time.  He tells us, “If [children are] not listened to and encouraged to ask questions, children will lose curiosity, potentially stunting their intellectual growth and assuredly stunting their creative growth.”  He goes on to say that asking “the provocative questions are essential to forging a path to wherever you might want to go. 

It is through the asking of provocative questions that problems which need to be resolved are posed.  Asking the right questions gives us an opportunity to have a 360 degree look at the challenge we have identified.  These questions allow us to plan via scenarios and as a result will help to reduce the number of unintended consequences of actions that we take.  Asking questions, posing and surfacing problems is what informs innovation and creativity.  The youth we work closely will benefit from developing this critical habit of the mind. 
To learn more about questioning strategies and technique sheck out the Consult 4 Kids staff development system.  Contact us at or by calling (661) 322-4347/

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