Posted by: kbater | January 19, 2012

Asking the Right Questions?

The trustees for CRPS were schooled in the art of questions at our board meeting on Tuesday January 17th.  Grade 3 students from Banff Elementary School and their teacher Sandy Duggleby demonstrated to us how they examine a topic by using questions.  They picked the topic – “Should Banff National Park have a different animal as a symbol?”  The 1st picture shows the outline of their process for thinking this through.  The students gave us details of each step and then gave the trustees an assignment – follow their process and answer the same question the students did?

Superintendent Callaghan and the trustees worked on their sentences finding key words, using ly words and extenders to develop their ideas.  We had a chance to practice with the students and improve our thinking and ideas.  The final process was to go through a U-shape discussion to enhance our learning.

This demonstration of learning by the students and putting the trustees through their paces was a great example of new approaches to learning.  I was impressed by the students advanced thinking skills, their investigation skills, their ability to use a process to answer a difficult complex question and their confidence in presenting to adults.  I teach Leadership courses at Leadership Development at the Banff Centre and work as a consultant and I rarely see this level of rigor, discipline and engagement when I am working with adults (many of them professionals).  Congratulations to Teacher Sandy Duggleby (and her colleague Sue Moleski) for their excellent work in shaping these learning experiences for students.  Kudos also to Principal Warren Woytuck who has stepped outside the box and introduced the idea of Habits of Mind to his staff and students and is charting a course that addresses Whole Child Education. 




Trustees engaging in a U-Shaped discussion on finances



  1. That was a great job by Ms. Duggleby and the kids… it was harder to do than it first seemed; it is great exercise for the mind to frame our thinking differently – it gives us insight sometimes. I love it when we once again learn from the students!

  2. We have come full circle when the children teach their teachers. The students demonstrated deep knowledge and asked “thick” questions. They were poised and confident and above all playful. I especially enjoyed how they helped us understand the work we had to do. They coached our learning.

    Thank you to Mrs. Duggleby, Ms. Moleski and students of Banff Elementary School for a memorable experience.

  3. Very inspiring to see students asking their own questions. We’ve shared our methods for teaching students to ask their own questions. See this article in the Harvard Education Letter or come to Your work is a great example to highlight. Congratulations.

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