Ask Away

Staff writer Chris Wrenn

A collection of teachers from all across the nation have worked together to make this week National Ask a Stupid Question Week. As a teacher myself, I understand this movement, because often those questions that seem too silly to say aloud in a classroom are in fact quite useful in a number of ways. Questions open a dialogue, which is far better for student learning than are lectures, and they force students to articulate their ideas aloud rather than allowing them to live as fleeting shadows in their minds. I always tell my students: If you have a question, someone else is likely wondering the same thing; it doesn't mean that you are too dim to understand, but that I didn't explain the concept as well as I could have.

I learned the power of questions when I was in undergraduate school; the instructor I took for Early American Literature did not lecture, he only asked questions about the readings. I took away more from that class than almost any other. 

So this week, encourage your kids to be inquisitive and brave in their questions. And please send questions to us; we love hearing from people who use our apps, and from those who are interested in the kind of work that we create. It's okay if it's a stupid question.