Craig Fielke | Principal
I hope you found some time to rest and relax over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. I am also sure like me, that during the last month, you have sought answers to a range of questions as we have continued to collectively respond to the ebb and flow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there will be some creative navigating required at the beginning of the school year, I am both hopeful and optimistic that we will find a way to have a productive and successful 2022.
Education is universally recognised as a critical element to the health and prosperity of individuals, communities and cultures. Outcomes such as students understanding and building confidence and capacity to influence their world, fulfilling dreams and aspirations, making a fairer world and enabling human progress are just a few of the reasons provided for the importance of education.
Whilst learning a collection of facts and knowledge that can be applied to the real world is of importance, you can never underestimate the power of asking questions more than merely finding answers.
The author of A More Beautiful Question, Warren Berger, suggests that between the ages of 2 and 5, children ask an average of 40,000 questions and that over the following years, as children begin school, the number of questions they ask declines. Other research hypotheses that as students move into Middle School and beyond the reduction in asking questioning, and at its heart, curiosity, has a significant influence on engagement and ultimately the depth and quality of learning. A drive for simply having the answer can be very counterproductive to the overall development of students.
Good questions have a range of benefits, such as:
- Greater curiosity and engagement
- Enhanced open mindedness
- Varied and creative solutions
- Even better questions
It is important that schools provide a ‘safe and valued’ environment and multiple ‘curious and engaged’ opportunities for students to ask questions. At Cornerstone, staff know the importance of enabling students to develop the knowledge and skills to find answers whilst always looking to engage in quality questioning as a central element to drive and enhance student learning.
Parents/caregivers also play a critical role in modelling and interacting in discussions where questions are central to contemplations, options and possibilities. I also encourage parents/caregivers to continue to ask more than ‘How was your day?’ as you share the learning journey of your child/ren at Cornerstone.
At another level, questions can also help to build, strengthen and sustain the relationship you have with your child/ren. You may even like to stretch yourself a little and try asking some of the questions from the following link as part of your discussions with your child/ren: https://www.care.com/c/stories/778/100-questions-to-get-toknow-your-teenager/en-au/
Perhaps it is fitting that for the first time, the College’s annual spiritual theme is encapsulated in a symbol rather than a word or phrase. This year’s spiritual theme is “?”. During the year, Pastor Al and Chaplain Andy will detail and unpack the importance of questions in reflecting upon and responding to God’s story in and through our lives.
May God bless us all in our teaching, learning and support in 2022.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when they contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” ― Albert Einstein