''MY MOTHER made me a scientist,'' reminisces physicist Isidor Rabi, Nobel Prize Laureate. His mother would ask him frequently, ''Izzy, did you ask a good question today?''

Generally - Why do the students not ask questions? What makes them wait with bland faces for the teacher to fill up the empty vessels of their brains like the students of Gradgrind's school in Charles Dickens' novel HardTimes?

Its causative factors are not ambiguous. However, the examination system, teachers and peer pressure are the prime factors that stifle the spirit of inquiry - the summum bonum to achieve the desired results of any education system.

The unasked questions cause suffocation of learning in human mind. Gradually, the part of human brain associated with the faculty of questioning becomes vestige.

The thread that runs through these compelling factors is the prospective deterrence looming large in the classroom.

The threat of being ridiculed is perpetrated by classfellows and teachers. Teachers interdict questioning because they perceive questioning as an iconoclastic threat to their authority or their so-called expertise.

They make the questioner the butt of their jeering. Classfellows also jump on the bandwagon to scoff at the student for abruptly uttering the question that nabs the student's mind when he applies what is being taught to some scenario in his mind.

Such a cognitive aberration teachers and classfellows suffer from is called schadenfreude which means to find fun in the misfortune of others.

ADDICTION to mobile phones has deprived the young generation of the capacity to masticate on the questions raised in their minds.

Child psychologists encourage the creeping and crawling among babies who visit every nook and cranny of the house. 

Even the change of the texture and temperature of floors, carpets and soil lends the child at baby or toddler stage sensory knowledge through serendipitous vibrations collected via the antennae of hands, knees and feet.

When babies are calmed at the screen, they are denied the opportunity to navigate into the unknown. Such children, psychologists aver, when grown up, remain shy and hesitate to ask questions.

Is Questioning going extinct?

The Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks author M Nadeem Nadir, an educationist.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!