Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What's your "Why"?

Recently, I've been working with my students to look deeper into the texts we are covering. They are pretty good at looking at the surface of a theme, but were having trouble seeing more. I told them to look for the "Why". Why is the author writing that way? Why is this theme important to you? Why is this supposed to make you feel sad? The "Why is what I feel education should be all about. I might tell you something has meaning, but I want you to ask me "Why".

I wonder how often we ask ourselves this question when going over our lesson plans. Is the answer good enough? Is the answer going to make education better for everyone in the class? Is it going to make a better teacher? Administrator? Asking why is something people might stray from as we become more experienced, but I think the longer you do anything, the more you need to ask why. Why: Because I think the answer changes all of the time.

The power of "Why" can have a dramatic impact on person's life if they know when to ask it and what to learn from it.

I hope people will read this post and ask why.

- @TheNerdyTeacher


  1. That "why" is so important. I am a trainer/staff developer. I found out that if I don't build my trainings around the Why, then my teachers will ask "Why are we here?" The Why and the How. I love them both.

  2. I've had recent success with the question "so what?" Yes, you comprehend the text (especially nonfiction). But why does the text matter? So what?

    It's done great things for student thinking about research.

    Janet | expateducator.com


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