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As the title of this book indicates, Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana believe that education can be transformed if students, rather than teachers, assume responsibility for posing questions. This idea may sound simple, but it is both complex and radical: complex, in that formulating good, generative questions, and being prepared to work toward satisfactory answers, is hardly a simple undertaking; and radical, in the sense that an apparently easy move can bring about a Copernican revolution in the atmosphere of the classroom and the dynamics of learning. The authors modestly quote physicist Niels Bohr who once said, ‘An expert is someone who has made all possible mistakes in a field and there are no more to be made.’ In reading this powerful work, I was reminded of what Albert Einstein said, when he learned of Jean Piaget’s pioneering questioning of young children: ‘so simple only a genius could have thought of it.’
Recognizing that the genius of democracy is in its roots, [RQI] sets about strengthening those roots. By helping people learn how to help themselves the project makes possible the vital process of converting residents into effective citizens… The project offers the possibility of strengthening the vital core of our society.
Before I learned [the Right Question Strategy] I didn’t know decisions were made here… I didn’t know I could ask questions, I didn’t know how to ask questions… Now I see that I need to participate and I need to ask questions.
“This is the best, most useful training in 22 years of teaching!”
I think the idea that you can question the authority (and that you have a right to do so if you don’t understand something) is what I took away from your session.
The hundreds of free resources you will find on our network will help you easily move into action to learn a strategy one day and facilitate the very next.
You’ll also get access to hundreds of free resources that will help you easily move into action to learn a strategy one day and facilitate the very next.