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Steve Parker commented on the Challenge Experiment with Crowdsourcing in Education

Yes. I'd agree with that. I've been teaching in higher ed for over 33 years and I'd have to say that the quality of things like PowerPoint slides is woeful. I've even seen people teaching others how to do presentations not actually practicing what they are preaching while they are doing it! Lots of room for improvement there!

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Ed Bernacki is now contributing to a Challenge Experiment with Crowdsourcing in Education

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Ed Bernacki commented on the Challenge Experiment with Crowdsourcing in Education

I was an outside lecturer on innovation in Adelaide. I was also a conference speaker and led many workshops. A student said the biggest problem with her university professions is that they do not know how to teach. As she said, her primary school teachers had university degrees in teaching whereas profs can have a PhD in anything but teaching.  As an observer of other lecturers, I was pretty shocked by terrible powerpoint slides, no engagement, and so on.  Just a thought. 

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Ed Bernacki is now contributing to a Challenge Academy Workshop: Managing Innovation and Collaborative Problem Solving

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Ed Bernacki commented on the Challenge Academy Workshop: Managing Innovation and Collaborative Problem Solving

Your focus on collaborative problem-solving cannot be separated from the problem solvers.  I suggest you explore some issues -- do people think alike? Obviously, no...how do you recognize the cognitive diversity within individuals and harness this to solve the problems?  So much of the innovation and problem-solving work ignores 40 years of research and literature on cognitive style by people like Min Basadur or Dr M Kirton.  Collaboration must be more than getting along.  Effective use of this work leads to opportunities for cognitive discrimination -- picking the people best suited to a solve a particular problem. 

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Lindley Edwards commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

When I consider the purpose and role of questions, I am also reminded of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who in his  1903 letter to his protégé, the 19-year-old budding poet Franz Xaver Kappus, said the following:

" I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer".

I like this because it reminds me that it is the big questions that matter.  The questions that cause us to say why not, what if, imagine if and open up possibilities.  Big questions shape innovation, ensure great strategy, push and change and reshape boundaries and create goals, desires and focus.

The right sort of big questions, create a call and response and are the basis for any personal, organisational or collective progress. 

 

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Penny Burns commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

 

Neil. Agreed and changing the framing of any question can generate most useful results.  The tag line of my association ‘Talking Infrastructure’ is ‘generating better questions’.   Which is, of course, a question in its own right.  What constitutes a ‘better’ question? And how do we generate such questions?.   I will take on board your set of parameters in our further exploration.

Here is our first set of the possibilities in our examination of ‘better questions’ when related to decisions on future infrastructure projects. Over all we are looking at ‘is it fit for the future?’  (will it survive the changes or quickly become redundant) and is it ‘fit for us’ - serving the people and not simply measured by an increase in GDP.

1Better questions are those that explore the future possible impacts of today’s decisions.  

2Better questions are those that recognise that the future is uncertain and do not seek to provide false comfort by claiming certainty in the assumptions we make and the outcomes we predict.

3Better questions look at the things that could happen, and their costs and consequences, so that we can develop scenarios that act as a guide to the way we need to react as the world changes and as we get more information and more feedback. 

4Better questions recognise that we can choose the futures we want, and provide us the means to achieve them.

5Better questions enable us to put in place a future accountability for present decisions. 

Further suggestions anyone?

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Penny Burns commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Yes, I learn most from conversation and discussion with those with whom I am not initially in agreement.  I may not adopt their views, but mine are always modified - and improved because of it.  I wonder how much a need to 'win the argument' stops us from asking good questions - and genuinely wanting to know the answers.

 

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Penny Burns commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Jon,  Couldn’t agree more. That is why I have created the non-profit community association ‘Talking Infrastructure: generating better questions’  Your expertise and question asking experience would be much appreciated on www.TalkingInfrastructure.com if future infrastructure decisions is of interest to you.

 

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Penny Burns commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Thank you for these references. I did not know of 'clean language' before so i looked up the references you provided.  And now I am wondering whether, and if so how, this could be used to overcome the block that so many have to actually asking questions.

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Penny Burns commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Absolutely!  and the way that a question is received depends on the recipient’s understanding of that motivation.  The story is told of Steve Jobs’ question of Jony Ives when Jony confessed that he admired Steve’s laser like focus ability. Almost every day Steve would ask Jony ‘How many times did you say NO today?’   If Jony did not know that Steve’s motivation was simply a desire to help him that could almost feel like bullying!

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Penny Burns commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Simon.  After you get past the age of about 6 or 7 and parents start to be less indulgent, question asking is often actively discouraged. Get to school, and with ‘teaching to the test’, questions can be seen by teachers as taking time away from the facts that they must install in their students’ heads lest they themselves get a failing grade.  

A corollary is that we, who have grown up in this system, have no role models to guide us as we move into the teaching role.  I still feel shame and guilt over a brilliant student in my Eco 1 class who asked unique questions that I much enjoyed.  After a few weeks she stopped coming to classes and when I saw her on campus I asked why. ‘Oh’ she said, ‘ I have withdrawn.  It is clear that this is not for me, I have so many questions!’   I told her how brilliant her questions were and how  much I enjoyed them. But it was too late.  That was 20 years ago and I still regret that I did not have the skills to encourage questions such as hers.

“Isidor Rabi won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944 for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance”  He credits his success to his mother who whenever he returned home from school would ask ‘did you ask a good question today?’  (from Hal Gregersen. “Questions Are the Answer.”  May we all have such mothers! 

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Penny Burns commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Mike, 

You might like to try Hal Gregersen. “Questions Are the Answer.”  I have just finished it and found it very useful.

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Daniel Marsh is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Richard Ferrers is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Penny Burns is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Neil Houghton commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Let me ask a question: What meanings are attached to the terms 'importance'  and 'question' within this question? There are multiple ways to frame each term such as consequence, effect, gravity, value, impact, interest ... and conjecture, speculation, hypothesis, fabulation ...

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Jona Nalder commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Hi MD - love this clear list, and am wondering if you'd have a preferred order for using these in the context of starting a new discussion or project?

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Alexandra McCallum is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Alexandra McCallum commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Absolutely agree with Jon. 

- therefore one good question to ask of diverse groups of people is...
- what are the most important questions to ask about this policy/plan/idea while we are considering if/how it might work.

- developing a culture of listening to the answers from others workmates, stakeholders etc - even when they are not the answers you want/expect or are in fact, the answer to a different question. And considering how that might impact your ideas/plans/the help you can provide.

 

 

 

 

 

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William Bell is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Neil Houghton is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Jon Eastgate commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

I think it's not so much just asking questions, but learning to ask the right questions. In policy terms I often think of the line from 'Yes Prime Minister': 'We must do something, this is something, therefore we must do this'. So much poor policy has been made and money wasted because governments leap directly to an attractive-looking action without asking enough questions. What is the problem we are trying to solve? What are the various possible solutions? What does the evidence say about the various options, what are their chances of success? 

The current debacle on the Darling River is a classic example of how this can go wrong. The government at the time decided back in 2011 that the problem to be solved was the resistance of some farming communities to increased environmental flows, so they developed a compromise plan which ignored the science. The current problems were entirely predictable and were in fact predicted, but we still have politicians ignoring this evidence and saying 'it's the drought, nothing we can do'!

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Jon Eastgate is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Neil Williamson commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

I wonder if the answer starts with a question about our motivation for asking the question? 

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Neil Williamson commented on the Challenge The importance of asking questions

Simon, I'm not sure that what you have described makes you a 'terrible supervisor' but it does highlight the differing views of the teacher/student relationship and dynamic. We can use the Socratic question/answer method to deliberately try and lead others to the understanding we already hold and want them to accept; or we can step back further and ask questions/pose conjecture that allow them to come to their own position and understanding along with a rationale for that position.

I think the best version of this method is when we all have cause to more deeply consider our own position and the basis for it, and perhaps even more importantly when we understand and accept that another person has fair reasons for holding a different view than we do. We don't have to agree on the position; just respect the process of getting there. 

So... questions that are aimed to increase our own understanding of another's position, rather than to lead or promote our own, can be considered useful. 

Regarding cultural differences on how comfortable we are to question our 'superiors' and 'elders' - that alone could be a great discussion for a class of students. 

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Neil Williamson is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Michael DONEMAN is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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James Copley is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

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Grant Spork is now contributing to a Challenge The importance of asking questions

 
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