What I love most about my kids’ new environmental science teacher isn’t that she knows all the answers. It’s that she asks all the questions. Even better, she encourages them to ask question. As they hike down the nature trails, they stop to examine wildflowers, caterpillars, spider webs, whatever is on the frontburner. She points out features and she asks them questions about what they observe, about form and function. Then she encourages them to ask more questions. Science is discovery. Science is curiosity.
Their homework assignment this week is to find four native Texas plants, and ask four questions about each one. Apparrently, finding the answers can be dealt with later. Asking the questions is the key starting place.
This experience was on my mind when this quote and article were posted my way.
“Teaching is not about answering questions but about raising questions – opening doors for them in places that they could not imagine.” ~ Yawar Baig
The author of the article is Muslim and gives credit to Allah for nature, so clearly our religious beliefs differ exceedingly. And he seems to speak to public school teachers rather than homeschoolers, so our situations differ as well. It is his approach to teaching that appeals to me, his concern for sparking curiosity and encouraging a love of learning. This much we have in common.