Why Ask Questions?

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Project Based Learning is structured around a Driving Question that focuses the project and drives it forward.  But the Driving Question is only one of many questions that facilitators and students ask during the course of a project.   Inquiry and investigation should be part of every project activity, and facilitators can build students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills by asking them probing questions, such as:

  • “What would happen if…?”
  • “Why did that happen?”
  • “What makes you say that?”
  • “How does this work?”

Rather that providing students with simple answers, encourage them to explore and find solutions.  Ask your students questions and give them the opportunity to experiment, gather information, and make connections and informed decisions.  Encourage them to ask their own questions and give them the space to discover.  Students’ learning is richer and deeper when we ask them to think for themselves.

For more information on the relationship between inquiry and critical thinking, see the September issue of “Young Children,” the Journal of the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

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