Letting Students’ Questions Take the Lead

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee

There is a Ted Talk by chemistry educator Ramsey Musallam that has been viewed more than 3.5 million times on the Ted website and YouTube. The video was shared years before the pandemic changed teaching and learning but it still has a great reminder. In it, Ramsey says this -

“Questions and curiosity are like magnets that draw us toward are teachers and they transcend all technology or buzzwords in education. If we place these technologies before student inquiry, we can be robbing ourselves of our greatest tool as teachers: our students’ questions.”

What I found so fascinating about this is just how simple it is and how quickly it can go out the door when we’re faced with the pressures and constraints of changing curriculums, large class loads, assessment-building, recessions, wars, and pandemics. Students are curious. They have questions. How do you let your students’ questions take the lead? Do you find it challenging to balance your assessments with the questions your students come up with on their own?

Here is a link to the YouTube video referenced above in case anyone is interested. And, on the subject of assessment, we’ll be talking about all things academic integrity next month.

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