What if children can ask questions for a purpose? What if they ask questions that allow them to gather information? What if the questions children asked are relevant and necessary for their cognitive development? What if the questions children ask, help them achieve some change in knowledge? These are profound questions. Profound for children’s ability to see, observe, learn and understand the world around them. Profound for children’s ability to gather information. Profound for children’s zeal to solve problems they encounter. Profound for children’s development, cognitively. Profound for children. All children.
Since homeschooling began, the researcher in me has become curious and open to the process of learning, working through each homeschooling session to understand how children achieve what Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana describe as metacognition or the ability to think about one’s own learning. In their book ‘Make Just One Change,’ they highlight why questioning matters for children and why we should all teach children to ask their own questions. To them, all students should learn how to formulate their own questions. The ability to ask questions may be taken for granted by adults. But the profound significance, profound freedom, profound bravery of being able to ask questions is not lost on children.
It’s also a simple request, really, one that respects and values children’s mind. One that also allows children to discover for themselves the power inherent with asking questions. There is an Igbo proverb I grew up with that simply states that ‘he/she who asks questions, never misses their way.’ How might we help children continue to ask questions is a profound keep for me, one that is inspired by learning from my own children, thinking about how I ask questions too as a global health researcher and a grant writer. Think about it, I actually get paid to ask questions, questions about pressing global health issues. It’s starts with questions for me, and even ends with more questions, given my passion to create sustainable interventions in resource limited settings. Questions are all I know. Questions are for everyone, including my children. It’s my keep for today and I am committed to a vision where children ask questions. My only goal now is to turn that vision into a reality, for my children, for all children.