Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Review: A More Beautiful Question

Title: A More Beautiful Question
Author: Warren Berger (Website and blog)

Why should you read this book?
Because most American classrooms are a place to find answers not questions.

Why are questions important?
Because innovation doesn't happen without first starting out as a question. 

Why should we be concerned about innovation in schools?
If we can teach questioning and an innovative spirit in schools we can help our students flourish in a world cloaked in change.

Yes, but why is that so important in K-12 schools?
If a 15 year old can figure out how to screen for pancreatic cancer accurately and inexpensively, there is no reason to wait till someone graduates from our ranks to wait for good things to happen.

Why haven't I heard of this book before?
I have no idea.

I highly recommend this book to anyone in education, especially those in the Genius Hour movement.  Berger tracks recent innovations back to questions asked by those innovators -- some out of necessity, some out of general inquisitiveness.  He explores how the pursuit of these questions grew into things we may take for granted today.  

Sadly, our current education system is not geared toward questions.  Who asks the questions in your classroom?  Odds are, it's you.  And those questions aren't to pique curiosity but to judge knowledge. How do we flip that? 

So, in the spirit of A More Beautiful Question, I leave you with a Why-What If-How? trilogy of questions. 

Why is important to teach forming good questions and pursuing those questions in your school?
What if you implemented these questioning techniques into a Genius Hour project in your class?
How do we redefine what a student "needs to" learn? 

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