The Indicators

Teaching Students to Question Can Improve Academic Performance

StudentsAlbert Einstein not only gave us the Theory of Relativity. He also gave us these wise words: ‘Never lose a holy curiosity.’ It means that for everything you observe in this world, always ask a question about it. Where did it come from? Why is it here? What is its purpose?

Trying to figure out how to improve their students’ performance occupied several educational institutions for so long. So far, a good number of them have succeeded — Baldrige performance excellence awardees, courtesy of the likes of, stand proof. But still, some might be forgetting that one of the simplest ways of breeding better students involves instilling curiosity in them.

The Question is More Important Than the Answer

Teachers should not forego the importance of inspiring curiosity in their students. It’s because questions forge a more authentic path to true learning. Students who ask questions take greater ownership of their education, deepen their understanding of a subject matter, and make discoveries of their own. An answer is basically someone else’s thoughts and beliefs. When students start making their own conclusions by asking their own questions, it’s the beginning of true wisdom.

Questioners in Real Life

One just needs to look at Silicon Valley for proof that curiosity and success go well together. Today’s tech market is a hub for constant innovation. How else would the latest technologies be achieved if not for extremely curious individuals?

Silicon Valley’s pioneers are almost certainly avid questioners of their own. It’s this quality that allows them to analyze and solve problems, adapt to rapid changes, identify and take advantage of opportunities, and lead their organizations into previously uncharted business territory. If these tech trailblazers aren’t the curious people they are, then upscale electronic companies like Sony wouldn’t have made it past manufacturing electric rice cookers that didn’t even cook rice well.

All in all, it’s about challenging the status quo. Teachers must help students realize that what currently ‘works’ is not the end of it. There’s always something that can be done to make improvements. By then, it’s their job to discern if such an improvement is for the greater good.