Another dot in the blogosphere?

No dumb questions

Posted on: May 2, 2021

Have you ever had a teacher who tried to encourage students to ask questions with the preface “There are no dumb questions”?

Sadly, there are. Here is quick professional development using something from popular culture.

Yuh-Jung Youn won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in Minari. BTW, she also won a BAFTA and was awarded a SAG by her counterparts.

Video source

So you would think that the journalists backstage at the Oscars would have asked her some smart or pertinent questions. 

A few did at the beginning of this recording. But it nosedived quickly about halfway through when the question-askers focused on the person who presented Yuh-Jung Youn with her award, Brad Pitt.

The most ridiculous question was what Mr Pitt smelt like. Really? This was her moment, not his. But my indignation could not match her wit and frankness at the moment. The actress declared that she did not smell him because she was not a dog.

As I LOL’d at that reply, I thought about the “no dumb question” preface. There are such questions and they can be asked. They waste time and effort. They make everyone look bad.

One preventive solution: Model the asking of critical questions and scaffold the crafting of good questions in small groups. Deconstruct, review, and reconstruct these questions. This way students have more confidence in crafting questions worth asking. No dumb questions.

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