Sunday, November 3, 2013

Questions That Know No Answers

Professional Development Sunday at Raki's Rad Resources - the Unanswerable Questions

Recently, I posted about how my school is using Facebook and Pinterest as part of our professional development.  (See the whole post HERE.) I’ve decided to pass on some of the best videos and articles I come across to you each Sunday evening.  Here is this week’s professional development post:


Do you ask students unanswerable questions?

My students are studying astronomy this trimester.  As there is so much that we don’t know about space, this leads all people to question themselves and their place in the world.  This is the reason that astronomy and philosophy have been linked for so long.  This amazing video is from TED-ED and covers a few questions that no-one knows the answer to.  It is a great video to share with students, or staff in order to get ourselves to think about the fact that there are some questions that no-one knows the answer to, and this is okay. 

As teacher, we know that we should be promoting questioning in our students, but sometimes we want to keep the questions to ones that we can answer.  However, the ones that we can’t answer actually make students think and work harder.  Some people will say that this frustrates students, but I don’t agree.  Instead, in writing this, I flashed back to an experience I had when I was student teaching.  I visited a kindergarten classroom with students working on a 9-piece square puzzle, that was challenging for me.  In my superior voice, I told the teacher, “I don’t think that puzzle is developmentally appropriate.  They won’t ever get the right answer.”  To which the teacher told me, “I don’t care if they ever get the right answer, it’s the thinking process that is more important.”  This experience changed the way that I attacked questions and problems in general in my classroom. 

How do you deal with the unanswerable questions in your classroom? 

If you’re interested in more professional development videos – follow my Professional Development Pinterest board.

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources