By convention, education had always assumed that it is the teacher’s job to ask questions and students must only answer. But that lesson strategy flipped as we entered the 21st-century and knowledge retention became a priority. Today, students are encouraged to ask questions. They are given freedom and space in classrooms. Yet, there are challenges that schools need to overcome to make education more student-question-oriented. One such hurdle is to motivate students to ask meaningful questions that are productive for the lessons. And the best CBSE schools in Gurgaon are using the following techniques to teach students to ask meaningful questions rather than throwing queries randomly and disrupting the academic flow.
- Explaining the motive behind asking questions
Many students hold a sentiment that asking too many questions might make them look stupid in front of the class. As a first step, teachers need to explain the need for asking questions and only then can the skill of asking meaningful questions can be taught. Teachers should make it clear and students should ask questions to evaluate their understanding, clarify a concept or even provide feedback to the teacher and all these are essential for the learning process. One the motive of the freedom to ask questions is understood, students will not hold back to place a query on the table.
- Think first, ask the question and then think again
The think-ask-think model enables students to draw a line between meaningful questions and unnecessary queries. If a question comes to mind, students must first learn to answer it themselves. That is the first step of the model – think about the answer yourself. When the query did not get answered, ask the question next. After the teacher answers, it is then time to take a moment and explore the new information in the mind. This is when students clear the doubts in their head, connect them to existing knowledge and retain the information in memory. The last “think” step is crucial for effective inquiry-based learning.
- Be creatively curious
Can this concept be explained in any other way? Can you take another example for real-life that helps prove this definition? Such questions provoke students to think out of the box, go beyond their textbooks. They become curious and use their creativity to come up with answers. The top 20 schools in Gurgaon follow a similar approach to teach students how to be creatively curious while asking questions as well. Instead of having a straight line of thinking, students pick up the habit of questioning a concept of different angles and find answers that are rarely written anywhere. Being creatively curious also teaches critical thinking and helps problem-solving in unique ways.
- Question to test an idea
Young students are filled with ideas. And most of them bottle them up without having a proper outlet. However, if they learn to form questions that will test their ideas, the benefits will be multifaceted. Ideas generally come from the knowledge that students already have. To test them, students will either have to dig deep into their memory or collect more information around the topic. Questions around the ideas will directly further education and provide diverse knowledge to students with the power of research. When an idea comes to mind and students question to test it, the query automatically becomes meaningful as the answer will seldom be straight-forward.
- Lastly, question to form connections
Most subjects that are taught in CBSE schools in Gurgaon are interconnected. The interdisciplinary approach to teaching is gaining popularity and teaching students to ask meaningful questions is the best way to implement the same. By questioning to understand or form connections, students learn the association among subjects. The result is greater clarity and better education. Where did you learn this before? Can you draw a connection between what you learned just now and what you were taught in that other class? Teachers can initiate the questioning pattern like this and students can pick up the habit to draw meaningful associations.
Asking questions is a crucial aspect of Alpine Convent School’s pedagogy. Students engage in collaborative learning by asking questions. Alpine teachers make sure that students learn to ask more meaningful queries over the years and explore matters to their very depths by digging in the right areas. Inquiry only helps if the query is productive. Inquiry helps if it provokes a student to think for himself/herself. Alpine Convent School’s management looks to instill such qualities in its students as education is truly complete when children become rational and analytical. The habit to ask meaningful questions further education. And schools obviously need to sharpen this skill among 21st-century students.