Teaching Students to Ask Questions

Submitted by David H. Stringer on Monday, 3/31/2014, at 10:27 AM

Education in the future needs to emphasize teaching kids to ask good questions. Much of what we do now constitutes the generation of answers (think: standardized tests) with penalties for errors, but the revolution in technology suggests that computers will, one way or another, generate a lot of answers by processing and analyzing data. But as far as I know, computers are not very good at asking questions, and questions are what we need for the deep innovation needed to stimulate cultural and economic change. 

Provost’s Initiative Prompts Amherst to “Ask Big Questions”

Submitted on Monday, 4/14/2014, at 8:46 AM

By Katherine Duke ’05

Earlier this semester, mysterious signs began to pop up around the Amherst campus. A banner above the entrance to Frost Library asked WHEN DO WE CONFORM?. Posters appeared on every bulletin board, featuring question marks and the letters ABQ. Many people didn’t know what to make of them. One evening in Valentine Dining Hall, I overhead one Breaking Bad fan mutter to another, “Does that stand for ‘Albuquerque’?”

The Survey

As part of the case study, Amherst seniors created and administered a survey that helped them figure out what fellow “millennials” might want in a hotel. Here are some of the survey questions.

Questions for Sept. 17

Submitted by Doreen Lee (inactive) on Wednesday, 9/16/2009, at 4:39 PM

1)     Why would the authors have used the subtitle “A New History”?  Does it have to do with the “crisis” of area studies?  Are they proposing or offering a new perspective on the history of Southeast Asia?  What was the “old history”?

2)     How did modernization and globalization in forms such as industrialization, institutions of taxation and law and new technologies enable the colonialists to control much of Southeast Asia and what was the impact on local communities and populations of Southeast Asia?