No learning event without learning questions. The questions behind the training, the workshop, the exposure visit, the discussions, the coaching are the runway to learning and make us takeoff and fly.
Learning questions – the pathway to discovery.
Framing the learning question is the first path to discovery.
What is turning in our heads but we cannot really grab? What do we have to understand better to make the next move? What question do we need to enquire to make a breakthrough?
Questions we cannot answer already
Learning questions are real questions, questions we cannot answer easily, questions that make us search and discover.
Questions are the motor.
Constantin Seibt wrote about questions in journalistic writing in his inspiring post: Es sind die Fragen, nicht die Gewissheiten, Dummkopf (It’s the questions, not the certainties, idiot.) For Seibt questions are “the only sensible motor” to overcome certainty. He argues that our experience is blocking our way and that we need real questions we don’t know the answer for to discover new territory.
Questions leading our enquiry
- GIZ jointly we Learn4dev developed the Joint Learning Journeys, a concept for deep learning. At its hart is the central learning questions. A Joint Learning Journey is framed and focused by a learning question. The central learning question pulls the group together. Questioning pushes the boundaries.
- KM4dev community wanted to launch learning expeditions (I think they never materialized). The questions raised are still challenging and relevant: http://wiki.km4dev.org/Knowledge_Expeditions
- And Otto Scharmer of course: Questions are guiding the inquiry process of the Sensing Journeys: http://www.presencing.com/tools/sensing-journeys
It’s great to head off with peer travellers into a learning adventure with a joint question in the luggage.
As facilitators and workshop organizers, we can support meaningful learning that matters to the participants and ourselves by putting the guiding learning question on the radar.
What is your experience? Are you travelling with learning questions in your mind?