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Triggering Thinking - A Shift Towards Question-Driven Learning

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers.

You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”

–Naguib Mahfouz

As educators, we are at the forefront of shaping young minds, guiding them through the journey of discovery. In this article, I explore the importance of triggering students' thinking and fostering a question-driven learning environment.


The Nature of Thinking

Thinking, at its core, is the process of formulating questions in our minds and embarking on a journey to explore and find answers. Humans are inherently curious beings, and this curiosity is especially evident in children who, on average, ask 100 to 300 questions a day, according to research. It is an instinct for them to seek understanding of the world around them.


Shifting Perspectives in Education

However, our current education system often leans towards being answer-driven rather than question-driven. The shift I propose involves teachers transforming from mere instructors to facilitators of learning. By encouraging students to generate their own questions, educators embark on a collaborative journey with their students, reducing the pressure of always having the answers.


Benefits of a Question-Driven Approach

Embracing a question-driven approach has numerous benefits. Students become more engaged and motivated as they take ownership of their learning process. Educators, as facilitators, witness reduced stress and pressure, allowing for a more dynamic and enjoyable teaching experience.


Provoking Curiosity

To implement this approach, educators can introduce provocation into the classroom, sparking students' curiosity. For example, when teaching about gravitational force, a visual aid like a group of children on a trampoline can be used. By encouraging students to generate questions about the image, a curiosity-driven exploration begins.


Real-Life Connections

Connecting lessons to real-life experiences enhances understanding and captivates students. Exploring natural phenomena, such as the aurora lights or the rainbow eucalyptus tree, can serve as captivating visual stimuli. These images provoke questions, stimulating intrinsic motivation and active thinking.


Playful Learning

Incorporating play into the learning process further enhances engagement. For instance, using water guns to introduce a lesson on water can turn a mundane topic into a playful event. When students are having fun, they are not only learning but also retaining information more effectively.


Encouraging Collaboration

The collaborative aspect of generating questions and exploring answers with peers adds a layer of richness to the learning experience. It opens up diverse perspectives, fostering a more dynamic and varied classroom dynamic.


Embracing Change

As educators, embracing change in our teaching methods can be a transformative experience. Shifting from being the "sage on the stage" to a facilitator of learning enables us to walk alongside our students on their educational journey. By encouraging questions, we empower students to become active participants in their own learning.


Nurturing a thinking effect in the classroom involves triggering students' curiosity through a question-driven approach. The shift from an answer-driven system to one that encourages inquiry not only benefits students but also creates a more enjoyable and fulfilling teaching experience for us. Let's strive to create environments where curiosity thrives, questions abound, and learning becomes a collaborative adventure.

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