Jack Uldrich
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The Most Important Thing: Questions

Posted in Creativity, Curiosity, Education, Innovation, Kindergarten, Parenting

1278766996678 "[Children don't] stop asking questions because they have lost interest: it's the other way around. They lost interest because they stopped asking questions."

This simple and yet profound statement rests at the heart of a very serious problem facing America and, to varying degrees, the rest of the world: Our children are becoming less creative. (For an informative but sobering read on the topic, I encourage you to read The Creative Crisis — an article in this week's Newsweek.)

Albert Einstein once said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created" and, Lord knows, the world has a number of serious problems which are of our own making. These problems are only compounded if we are also systematically robbing our children of the ability to think creatively about potential new solutions.

So what can we do about it? The one thing we can and must do is to encourage our children to never stop asking questions. Even if you don't know the answer to their questions (and, believe me, this happens to me all the time with my own children), I encourage you to ask them to think about potential explanations and answers to their own questions. At a minimum, this tactic will keep their mind engaged and, at best, it will nurture their inherent curiosity.

To quote Einstein again, "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The most important thing is not to stop questioning."

I love that last phrase: The most important thing is not to stop questioning. It should be the unofficial motto of every lifelong unlearner.

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