- In The Quest of a Question, teacher Eric Démoré traces the act of asking a question and embarking on a quest back to the same root word, quarere (meaning “to seek”). He asks us to reconsider the traditional principle behind research and knowledge acquisition: “What if the value of asking a question lay not always in the sought-after answer, but in the question itself?” Démoré argues that real growth comes from the journey--the process of wondering and formulating questions.
A recent post by Abner Oakes begins with one of the Common Core standards for grades 9 and 10 English Language Arts, which states that students should be able to both respond to and pose questions. Oakes discusses how schools can develop “good question-askers” so that student-driven inquiry “becomes a natural occurrence in the day-to-day of classrooms.” The QFT is one such tool, providing teachers with a structured yet simple process to improve their students’ higher-order thinking abilities.
Maryellen Weimer sheds light on the findings of research conducted about inquiry based learning--according to a study of over 900 students at four different institutions, inquiry-based approaches in the classroom promote higher-order learning types such as analyzing and applying knowledge. Moreover, 91% of the participants felt that these courses encouraged them “to take responsibility for their learning.” Open-inquiry, in which students “formulate the questions [and] identify what needs to be known,” ranked the most highly “in terms of the type of learning it promoted” in comparison to more teacher-led methods.
Curiosity can lead to incredible things--for Matthew Lara, a high school sophomore and aspiring oncologist, a presentation of original research to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In an article about the 16 year old, Brian Reid writes that “the most important tool” in the fight against cancer “is the one often taken for granted: curiosity.” What began as a dinner-time discussion between Lara and his father, himself an oncologist and researcher, led to an extensive analysis of the impact of age on lung cancer survival rates.