On developing a spirit of enquiry - image  on https://www.johncolet.nsw.edu.au

On developing a spirit of enquiry

First, hearty congratulations to the John Colet Choir and Mrs Miles for a double win recently in the Hawkesbury Eisteddfod.  The judges commented on the well-chosen, beautifully delivered, repertoire, especially the dynamics.  A great example of the power of the finest music.

This week we have been concentrating on matters of the Mind.  One key aim of education is that children be life-long learners, that they develop a spirit of enquiry, that they ask and reflect on open ended questions.  All this is like gymnastics for the mind.  The teachers have been asked to reflect on their own life-long learning.  After all, if the teacher has no curiosity, if they aren t inquisitive, if they have no spirit of enquiry themselves, then it is hard to inculcate it in the children.

Open ended questioning is a good way of fostering this passion for real enquiry.  An open-ended question has three elements:  first, the questioner really doesn t know the answer; second, they really want to know; third, they want to know what the person they ask has to say.  It has the other characteristic that, often there is no black and white answer.  A question like: What did the Romans contribute to the human story?  What would the Buddha say about current events?  If the force of gravity were halved how would life change?

Still on the topic of the Mind, we have a wonderful event coming soon.  Suryacitta Malcom Smith  is in Australia soon to run weekend workshops in Mindfulness.  We have been lucky enough to have him speak at the school on Thursday 9th October at 6.30 pm.  He will address issues of Mindfulness and Children, Families and Education.  Please come along and invite friends.  And it’s free!

Answer to last week’s question: The Prophet Amos (5:24) first said Let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.   And Martin Luther King Jr used that phrase in his I have a Dream speech. When addressing the question of when the Black people of America will be satisfied he said: No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

This week’s question:  What did the Romans contribute to the human story?

Gilbert Mane