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The Mother of Invention: Questions vs. Answers

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”  --Plutarch, Greek Philosopher (ca. 46 - 127) Students are often evaluated based on the answers they know rather than the questions they conceive, an issue recently addressed in SmartBlog’s post called “Asking The Right Questions.”  There seems to be a trend towards memorizing answers to predetermined questions.  It is becoming less prevalent for students to be asking their own big questions.  The focus is on the answers. Now, this makes sense logically.  Of course the answers are most important, right?  They are what we seek in the end.  But what about the means to the end?  Or, to put it simply, what about the questions?

Summer Program 2008

As we approach the month of August, we are also approaching National Inventors Month.  Remember that formulating questions is a key step in the inquiry process, and inventors became such by asking their own big “What if’s?” The Teacher Report has some activities for this upcoming month, such as researching past and present inventors, creating an “Invention Box,” and more! What questions does your inquisitive gifted child ask? What are some other activities you can do to celebrate National Inventors Month? For a list our questions and corresponding course descriptions, download the Saturday Enrichment Program catalog.

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