I have a very simple theory: the only stupid question is the unasked one. I try to impress this on my students as often as I can. If we don’t ask questions, that’s when miscommunication happens. Answers to questions inform, clarify. They can’t do that, though, if we don’t ask the questions.
I ask a lot of questions. I encourage those around me to ask a lot of questions. It should come as no surprise, then, that I was completely intrigued by this article that suggests smart people ask questions. It’s true. So many people are afraid to ask questions because somehow this idea that questions somehow make you stupid or antagonistic has pervaded our cultural identity.
We need to shake that and ask more questions. Questions lead to answers, and answers can often lead to an increased awareness that benefits those around the inquirer.
I spend much of my teaching time asking questions. I tend to teach a concept, and then start asking questions until I feel that my student is comfortable with te concept and can work on his or her own. When a student is struggling with an assignment, they know I’ll start asking them questions to help them think through what they’re working on.
I’ve actually started wondering if my teaching method borders on the Socractic Method, but honestly, questions work.