Two things came across my desk today that prompted this post. The first was an article by Seth Godin dealing with the economy entitled “The Forever Recession (and the coming revolution)”. In the article Mr. Godin talks about how the current recession will probably never end until we begin to think differently about how the world has changed and where we need to be heading. Excellent article by a forward thinker. For those of you who don’t know Seth Godin’s work, he is definitely a guy who questions the status quo and challenges us to think differently. In my opinion, whether he is right or whether he is wrong is not as important as the fact that he takes an angle that we haven’t thought of yet and makes us think. He somehow forces us down a narrow road that opens up into some mass of discovery. He causes us to question.
Second, I asked a teacher about a procedure she used when questioning her students. She asked them to take a second and think about what she asked, then answer it to themselves to see if it made sense, and then answer out loud. This led to a discussion about quality questioning and quality responding. The idea comes from the book Quality Questioning: Research-based Practice to Engage Ever Learner by Walsh and Sattes. In the excerpt from this book that I received, the authors note that not only is a quality question necessary but also it is important to know how to process the question in order to respond correctly.
My Challenge back to you then is to find the questions in “The Forever Recession,” make sure that you have really heard what Godin is asking, take those questions and prepare to respond. Based on his article, I’m guessing that he is not waiting for you to raise your hand, I’m guessing that you better not spend too much time worrying about whether this will be on the test, I’m thinking that sometimes our response is an action. And like good teachers and good students it is our responsibility to share with our neighbor, our colleagues, our friends.