As our Year 6 students prepare to begin their Unit Of Inquiry for The Exhibition, an important starting point is the development of questions around the issues the boys have expressed their interest in. When we are curious about something it is our natural instinct to ask questions. As learners we are natural questioners.
If there is the need to increase our knowledge, skills or understanding around something we usually do this through asking questions. They may be simple in nature and provides us with a quick solution to problems, or complex, leading to more questions which continue to develop our thinking and understanding. It is critical to acknowledge the importance of both types of questions for learning. As long as the question is relevant it will be significant in the quest to increase our understanding around a problem.
Several years ago, the teachers at NCL coined the term “un-Google-able” to help students understand the kind of questions that are complex and open, not simple to answer, whose answers cannot be found in a single page of a book or on a website. The answer to this type of question is one which we create after collecting data (answers from many questions), and synthesize our new knowledge to create a plausible answer. As a PYP school our vision and goals for curriculum goes beyond the delivery of content. It is our aim to equip our students with skills for learning and asking relevant questions is a major skill for becoming an independent learner. The formulation of questions for inquiry is a skill that is innate in all humans.
We recall very young children who continuously, and sometimes annoyingly, ask questions in an attempt to understand their world. It is important to remember that questioning is an essential tool and skill for our students to be lifelong learners.
What will your next question be?
Sue Gough – Teacher Librarian/PYP Co-ordinator