Asking questions is essential to learning. That was an essential lesson from one of history’s first great teachers, Socrates. Or, as the wise Rabbi Steven Greenberg puts it: “we train children at the Passover seder to ask why, because tyrants are undone and liberty is won with a good question.”
And yet, children are not asking questions nearly enough. In fact, data from the U.S. school systems tells us that the average high school student asks one question of substance per month in a classroom.
This is particularly alarming if we consider the skill set that is required for success in the coming decades. Hal Gregersen, the co-author along with Clayton Christensen of the recent book The Innovator’s DNA, tells Big Think that the world we’re entering over “the next five, ten, fifteen, twenty years – I can’t imagine it being easier, simpler, less uncertain than what we’re living in today.”
So what is the best way to “unlock the solutions to that wild terrain,” as Gregersen puts it? “We need to build this capacity in ourselves and the people around us to ask the right question.”