A More Beautiful Question discussed how questions drive us to solve problems. We start with why questions which move us to what if and leads us to how. I found this though process to be very effective when thinking through problems. When working on my Wicked Problem project, it was a help thought process to work through a wicked problem. This process can even work for complex problems too. This process is helpful when moving from broad to complex.
There are always going to be complex and wicked problems that happen in the classroom. How I may solve them may not be how another teacher does because the students are not the going to be exactly the same. Practicing questioning in this way has allowed me to think more deeply and consciously about the problems that exist inside and outside my classroom. I feel confident using this process to work through these challenges to find solutions that work for my students.
This upcoming school year, my school is moving towards project based learning and reopening as a magnet school. I think it would be great to incorporate why, what if, and how to inspire change in the school climate. This is a great opportunity to tackle some of the complex problems we face as a school. If the staff used this line of questioning, I’m sure we can answer our complex problems.
This is not only something I will continue to use, but it is something that I would like to teach my students. If I could teach any way I wanted to in my classroom, I would bring the spirit of the maker movement into my room. The maker movement encourages creativity, play, curiosity, and passion. Why, what if, and how questions include all of these aspects. I would love to get students involved in these aspects. Since my school is moving to project based learning (and requires us to do two per year), I would love to have my students use the why, what if, and how questions to begin solving a problem they find important. This not only has them become better questioners, but they also get to be actively engaged, creative, problem solve, and think critically.
My biggest take away from chapter 3 was about creativity. The author talks about how people used questions to solve their problems. They took different ideas and put them together to come up with a creative solution. “It can be a relief to know that, in coming up with fresh ideas, we don’t have to invent from scratch; we can draw upon what already exists and use that as raw material. The key may lie in connecting those bits and pieces in a clever, unusual, and useful way, resulting in (to use a term that seems to have originated with the British designer John Thackara) smart recombinations” (Berger, 2014, p. 103-104). This really resonated with me because we discussed remixing in class and how creativity is a remix. I like this though because when teaching students to be creative, I can explain to them that creativity doesn’t mean starting from scratch and coming up with everything on your own. Creativity is taking the knowledge you’ve obtained and combining it across contents to solve a problem. This is something that hopefully, over the years of using project based learning, I can instill in my students.
Berger, W. (2014). A More Beautiful Question: The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.