We often hear the statement,” There is no such thing as a bad question” In fact this is, for the most part, not true. All questions are not created equal and this is why:
The three most important skills needed for us to survive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution are:
complex problem solving
I recently trained a group of managers. This group was no different from the many others I have trained before.
In this training, there was a simple activity that required the participants to discover the identity of a mystery object – something like 20 Questions.
I didn’t specifically instruct them to ask questions, though I expected this is what they would do.
Instead, they began guessing. Eventually, I coaxed them to acknowledge that the way to find the identity of the mystery object would be through asking questions. Even then, only the few who had the advantage of better schooling were able to formulate probing questions to discover the answer. The majority were still only able to continue guessing.
Why weren’t they able to formulate questions to attain sufficient information to solve a problem?
It is simple. In school, 368 of the 400 questions that their teachers asked every day, were lower order, factual recall questions. It is suggested that these questions are safe for a teacher lacking confidence or sufficient preparation time, as they allow the lesson to flow. I also believe teachers themselves are not trained to ask good probing questions – despite the availability of question hierarchies like Bloom’s taxonomy.
Thus, students are exposed to poor, largely superficial questioning techniques. Consequently, their critical thinking, their learning, and their own ability to formulate good questions suffer, and the poor questioning cycle is perpetuated.
Many students are leaving school poorly equipped for the world that lies ahead, simply because their teachers have not been taught how to question.
Kunjani is a solution to this.
The careful design of the Kunjani app and the JAMBED creation tool assists a teacher or facilitator to create meaningful, diverse, challenging questions which promote critical thinking. The game format removes the stress often associated with questions; coaxing responses in a collaborative spirit, rather than a means to control or frighten. The anxiety of being wrong is removed and replaced by stimulation and excitement.
Hastings Steven. (2003). Questioning. Available at: https://www.tes.com/news/questioning.
Schoning, M and Witcomb, C. (2017). This is the one skill your child needs for the jobs of the future. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/09/skills-children-need-work-future-play-lego/.
World Economic Forum. (2016). The Future of Jobs. Available at: http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016/#xlink.