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Powerful questions

Posted on: March 2, 2015

In brainstorming the Pedagogy of Questions [1] [2], it was tempting to consider the oft used 5W1H approach.

questions by rodaniel, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  rodaniel 

The 5W1H approach is short for who, what, where, when, why, and how. When I get the chance at workshops, I like to introduce the approach as the five wives and one husband method.

After I assure workshop participants that I am not promoting polygamy, I tell them that this unusual family has a son. His name is So What.

So What is a born critic and critical thinker. So what if I know this? So what good or harm does it do? So what if this is (or is not) in a test?

To add to the family dynamic, I would introduce the 5W1H1S to a lovely and inquisitive lady named What If.

What If has a dual personality and splits it with Why Not. Otherwise she functions normally even as she is viewed a bit suspiciously by the rest of the gang.

What If seeks other possibilities and considers alternatives. Variety is the spice of her life. Change is her only constant. Life with her is never boring. What If gets along so well with So What.

The Pedagogy of Questions is not driven so much by a core family of questions, but by more interesting outsiders.

6 Responses to "Powerful questions"

Jack Sng: .@ashley Our hopes, our frustrations, and our values often come to light in the questions we raise. via


Jack Sng: .@ashley The questions we ask reveal much about who we are and how we view the world. via


CHAN Hsiao-yun 曾曉韻: @ashley #edsg I had an opportunity to mention your “family” in class today. So timely! via


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