One of my favorite parts of teaching an inquiry-based program is the open-endedness of the questions we encourage kids to ask. Rather than explaining a piece of art, we ask things like, What do you see? and Great observation! Tell me more. Some things we have quick answers to: Clyfford Still died in 1980 but others we just don’t know, which is the point. It’s cool watching kids go from wanting to know the answers to embracing their own opinions of the art.
I’m almost finished reading The Lemon Tree and am feeling like none of my questions were answered. Even though the author made no promises to answer my questions, I wanted him to tie up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a neat solution. He’d spent hours and hours of interviews and research and I want an answer! Really, Sandy Tolan’s book tells a story. He doesn’t take sides, but lets the storytellers tell their own versions of events. It creates a well-balaned work, but I still walk away with the now what? question hanging over me.
It seems like motherhood has been the ultimate inquiry-based experience for me. There are absolutely no answers! I only read one or two parenting books before realizing that it’s an in-the-moment, common-sense, questioning sort of game. No quick answers are available, and if they seem to be they don’t always work.
I’m learning to embrace the inquiry. Perhaps I’ll arrive at a definitive answer but in the meantime, the questions bring about more questions which, more often than not, bring me to a new understanding of a situation.
Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.