What will best fuel your learning and thinking: Data or questions? The answer: It depends. In large part, on the quality of the question. In the brief video below, Anabel Jensen, President of Six Seconds and Chairman of Education at Notre Dame de Namur, explains that the vast majority of question in classrooms are simply about factual recall. While there’s nothing wrong with facts, learning, certainly transformational learning, requires a deeper level of thinking.
In Six Seconds’ methodology, questions are an essential ingredient. Adapting Bloom’s Taxonomy, a hierarchy of thinking from “factual” through “evaluative,” we focus on three levels of questions. Here are the levels, with an example of each — about the American Civil War:
What year did the American Civil War begin? (There is one right answer, Google it.)
What were the most important causes of the war? (There are reasonable answers that can be inferred from the data.)
If you were the President in 1861, and your advisors told you that you had to declare war, how would you decide? (There are strong answers that require blending, fusing, emotion and cognition.)
Here’s the video of Dr. Jensen: