Thursday, December 24, 2009

How do you tell if a Question is Worthwhile?

Last night, in Study Group, my "cloistered" brothers pounced on a question I posed. It doesn't matter what the question was. That's not my point. My point is what they said to me because I asked a question.

I was accused of being a pharisee.

Yes, because I question.

You can tell that this bothered me because here I am blogging about it. After a good night's sleep, and reflection, I've come to the conclusion that questioning is not wrong, and I'm sure they'll agree. It's the type of question.

But that's so subjective!

How to tell if a question is worthwhile is the question! :-D

Some teachers say that all questions are good questions. All students know that's B.S. because we've all been bored by stupid questions by the some "stupid" students. Some people just like the attention and so ask questions. Some want to side-track the instructor so he won't have time to cover the material and so postpone the assignment or test. Some students truly ask dumb questions.

Do my "cloistered" brothers think my questions are dumb?

Mmmm, possibly?

Nah! Perish the thought.

Though, come to think of it, in this particular group, quite a few think some things are NOT to be questioned, i.e., Eucharist, Trinity, BVM, etc.

Ah......that's the rub. It was a question on the Eucharist. Actually it wasn't. I was looking for suitable responses to a question on the Eucharist. But they took my question as questioning the dogma. I wasn't questioning the Eucharist, but a question on the Eucharist. Get it?

They didn't.

Teachers encourage questions. Even teachers who want students to hold their questions to the end. (And I use to do that.) It's a method of gauging how the material is going over. So of course it's good to question.

What separates dumb questions from good questions is the value of the question. Brother Augustine Marie Reisenauer, O.P. (above picture) encourages questions. He uses questions to engage everyone in the learning process. A good question is one that is of value to the group as a whole.

That was the problem last night. My question was not of value to that particular group.

That particular group is challenging, in many ways.

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