With so much information available to our students, asking questions about what they find and read is becoming increasingly important. Recently, I've been looking deeper into what makes a good question.
In his article, "What is a Good Guiding Question?", Rob Traver states that good questions:
1. are open ended, yet focused on a specific topic
2. are non-judgmental, not value laden, and encourage the learner to think and ask other questions
3. contain an emotive force or an intellectual bite such as, "When are laws fair?"
4. are succinct, containing only a handful of words, yet demand a lot.
To generate good guiding questions, look at the six queries that newspapers answer: who, what, when, where, how and why. Teachers often focus on the what and how of something; questions that are not easily answered and give educators and students room to explore. You can find Traver's full article here.
|The Three Questions by Jon Muth|
But there is more to life than just questions; there is the attitude one has when one asks the
questions we may ask as we respond. "It's not what happens to me but what happens in me that matters most."
Yesterday, I read a blog posting by educator Katherine Sokolowski on The Power of a Smile. Here she writes of consciously choosing to be postive and watching her attitude as it effects those around her. Students (and others) can tell much about us by our outlook or demeanor. You can find Katherine on Twitter here @katsok. Enjoy her blog posting where she reflects on the Power of a Smile.
In summary, we wear our attitude on our countenance and it is found in the types of questions we ask. So, I encourage you today to help your students ask good questions with a positive attitude and add the power of a smile. I think you'll find some answers you are looking for...
How do you encourage your students to ask good questions?
References: "What is a Good Guiding Question?" by Rob Traver From Educational Leadership. March 1998. ASCD