We have been studying ways to improve our learning and problem solving through a process of asking questions. To do this, we read an article that detailed some of the ways for students to effectively use questions and took notes on our key takeaways individually.
We split the class into four groups and then applied the technique we had just learned to our reading. Each team had a team leader to facilitate discussion and make sure everyone had a chance to speak. First, we had a brain dump, where students threw out all the unfiltered ideas that they had. Then, we organized our thoughts into different categories, changed all of our statements into questions, and then answered those questions. If some of the answers were similar, we consolidated them. Finally, we categorized the answers into different groups and brainstormed titles for each of the different groups.
Through this process we not only learned about the importance of asking questions to problem solve, but also how to carry out this different method of thinking in practice.
During one of our brain-dump sessions, Harvard Graduate School of Education student Tomihiro Ono visited us. His goal was to observe classroom structure and student-teacher interactions so as to gauge how these factors influence student motivation. Tomihiro will ultimately use these findings in a group project for his Deeper Learning course regarding administration techniques for professional development. By analyzing our process, interviewing individual students, and seeing the work we are doing, Tomihiro was able to observe and record the many unique aspects of our classroom structure. We hope that he gained meaningful information that he may share with his group and eventually use in his project.