Saturday, 19 November 2011

The ability to synthesis and question information: are we on the right track? #change11

As a part of my journey in Change11, I posted a blog post entitled Learning in a time of abundance.  Obviously the theme for this week is learning in a time of abundance and it was a reflective post on my thoughts on what I hope to get out of it.  Since I am the master of self promotion, I tweeted it out to my PLN and got an interesting response from GEvangelista.  Her response (I think it is a her) was:

 Some good points- over-abundence is an understatement! The ability 2 synthesise & question info is almost a lost art.
That got me thinking.  Obviously the part about the over abundance of information and information overload is something that we need to help our learners with but it caused me time to pause and reflect about the second part of our tweet.  I always say to my kids that the biggest thing that I want them to get out of their year with me is the ability to think and question.  But am I doing a good enough job?  Am I fostering questioning and inquiring enough within my learning environment?  Like all educators, I am sure that I could do a better job but overall I think that I do a reasonable job encouraging the inquiry process of learning.  I do it by actively having my students participate in the learning process.  They are not passive recipients of content and I do not accept students not justifying their opinions / answers.



  1. Hi Ashley, Asking questions is an art, however to question statements and answers of other people (including teachers) is a more difficult art.
    Did ever a student ask you (if you are his teacher: How do you know that is true? Can you prove that?

  2. I don't think questioning is a lost art at all. I find that this generation of students (including the ones who live in my home) question "facts" much more than my generation did growing up.

    Each piece of information now has meta-information attached to it. How do you know that? Where did you hear that? Are you sure about that? Sometimes we go overboard with it, but those are questions our students are asking much more regularly than their parents (and especially their grandparents) are.

    I think that our students tend to see the discrepancies more often than we did. They see conflicting accounts, different points of view, varied frames of reference. They see The Daily Show and MSNBC, but they also see Fox News. They are less likely to just accept "truth" at face value.

    As teachers, we need to foster these skills and encourage them to challenge assumptions and conclusions. But we're very definitely on the right track.