Transforming through the 3 W’s

“I Have the Answers to the Questions They Never Ask”sparked a thought in my brain about how many of our students go through the day with new thoughts or questions, and an untapped potential of expertise hiding below the surface.

This quote “I Have the Answers to the Questions They Never Ask” came from the book “Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom” by Amy Burvall and Dan Ryder (This book is on my to purchase list). Laura Fleming tweeted it to me and it made me start to reflect on what types of questions I ask.

Maybe I shouldn’t be asking the questions.

pablo (17).pngI wonder what would happen if we asked students more about what answers they might have to a topic. It really is driving my brain to contemplate what learning really is about. Those answers our students have are a priceless commodity of untapped potential, yet we are the ones driving the questions each day.

Incredible to think that many of our students will go days without asking a single question in school, yet they leave and become some of the most eloquent thinkers outside of those walls. Why is that? I wonder if it’s the way our culture is set up.

Amy wrote in a blog post early in 2016 about helping her daughter to be more reflective on her day using the 3 W’s: “What if we asked ourselves about the Weird, Wonderful, and Worrisome things we learned about each day?” Imagine what our education system would be like if we categorized our learning in these three categories.

Breathing new life into our classrooms comes from planting the seeds of listening. This transforms the phrase “The answers that students have to questions we never ask” instantly into students/teachers collaborating to explore what drives students to be curious. I know that as I go from this day on, my questions and the way I listen to my students, staff, and children at home will be reflected in these 3 W’s: Weird, Wonderful, and Worrisome.

I can’t leave each day knowing that untapped potential is fading away because of my lack of understanding towards students. What do they really know? How are they experts? What do they think is weird, worrisome, or wonderful about learning.

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How can I change so that students feel accepted to tell me what is worrisome to them? Give some type of wait time for them to process initially. Those answers will lead to questions that we ask together, TOGETHER, not apart.

This is a new frontier of thinking for many students, they have the answers, we just need to come up with the questions and LISTEN.

What did you find Weird, Wonderful, or Worrisome about your learning today? Add to the comments to share your learning.


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