Were you ever taught how to ask questions? Have you ever been taughtabout asking questions that will really make a difference? Most of us who werebrought up in traditional families or in a traditional education system were not.We were certainly never encouraged to ask questions where the answers are notalready known.Traditional schooling was based on asking questions to which the answerswere already known: How many wives did Henry VIII have ? What colour is thatcar ? What is four times five ? We learned that questions have finite and correctanswers, and there is usually one answer for each question. The wrong answeris punished with a bad grade. The landscape of learning was divided into rightand wrong.This may be a convenient way of running schools and testing peoplescapacity for memory in examinations, but it has not been a very empoweringlearning process for students, or a good preparation for the questions that willbe coming up in life.In some families, children are taught that to ask a question where there is noknown answer and is to be avoided because it makes people uncomfortable.Adults or Parents who are supposed to be in charge of things seem to hate sayingI dont know. It may even be true that asking embarrassing questions, or inany way threatening the power of the adults is a punishable offence. The childlearns to stop questioning before the unknowns are revealed.All this is unfortunate to our times, because today in our personal,professional and public lives we are surrounded with questions that have noimmediately known answers. And if you havent been taught how to work withsuch situation and ask questions, then this can provoke fear and be intimidating.
The key features of STRATEGIC QUESTIONING are :It creates knowledge by synthesising new information from thatwhich is already known.
It awakens the suppressed possibilities of change embedded ineach person, in each institution and in each society.
It is empowering - ownership of the new information stays withthe person answering the question.
It releases the blocks to change and new ideas.
It facilitates peoples own responses to change.
It generates energy to make changes happen.
It creates answers that may not be immediately known but mayemerge over time.
wrong answers !transforming fearful inquiry