Teaching Thinking! Is this an impossible task?
Clearly the work of teachers and parents is to help students become better thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators. We want students to become more creative and critical in their thinking. It is challenging work. How do you support students in becoming true inquirers who are curious, interested, and capable of asking probing questions? How do we support students as they engage with their own thinking? How do we help students develop resilience?
Below is a “story” that I’ve held onto for years. I remember hearing this story when my own children were young boys. I found a source of the story online as a letter to the editor to the New York Times.
The following letter to the editor appeared in the New York Times on January 18, 1988
‘Izzy, Did You Ask a Good Question Today?’
Isidor I. Rabi, the Nobel laureate in physics who died Jan. 11 (1988), was once asked, ”Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer or businessman, like the other immigrant kids in your neighborhood?”
His answer has served as an inspiration for me as an educator, as a credo for my son during his schooling and should be framed on the walls of all the pedagogues, power brokers and politicians who purport to run our society.
The question was posed to Dr. Rabi by his friend and mine, Arthur Sackler, himself a multitalented genius, who, sadly, also passed away recently. Dr. Rabi’s answer, as reported by Dr. Sackler, was profound: ”My mother made me a scientist without ever intending it. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: ‘So? Did you learn Continue reading