by Dwayne Phillips
The skill we should be teaching and learning and using more than any other today is question asking.
We live in a world where all the questions have answers. We just have to find the answers. We have the facts, the data, the everything online in front of us. It is there. We have provided the answers.
“We just have to…” ooops, that phrase is wrong. It should be “We will have great difficulty when we attempt to…” as in:
We will have great difficulty when we attempt to ask the right question that leads us to the answer we desire.
Example: How much did it rain in Tickfaw, Louisiana yesterday? Simple question. Simple-to-find answer. The question, however, doesn’t tell me what I really want to know. I really want to know the trend of rainfall in the region north of Lake Pontchartrain. No, I really want to know that trend since the building of the Atchafalaya Spillway. No, I really want to know how that spillway and the diverting of the Mississippi River has affected the environment in that region in the last 500 years. Well, maybe that last one is the question I want to answer.
The question asking is the difficult part. Sure, finding the right database and reading the right numbers in the right order has its challenges, but those are things we have done before and will do again.
What we haven’t done before is ask this question at this time for this reason.
That is where the difficulty lies. That is our challenge. That is where we should focus education and learning.