High 5: 5th May 2017 by Mr Paul Lee
Good morning School Leaders, colleagues and all Gessians.
Right now, I believe all Gessians are very focused on preparing for the exams, especially trying to memorise as many key points as possible, so that these key points can be used to answer most of the questions. Today, I would like to ask you to compare these two processes and identify which is more important to shape thinking – Is it ‘posing a question’ or ‘giving an answer’?
Currently right now, I think majority would choose ‘giving an answer’ as being more important to shape thinking, because we hope to answer all the exam questions well and to obtain excellent results, which can reflect our performance.
But let’s hear what some remarkable individuals view about what is important to shape thinking.
• Naguib Mahfouz (Nobel Prize Winner): You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
• Albert Einstein: The important thing is to not stop questioning…..I have no special gift. I am only passionately curious.
• Bernard Baruch: Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.
• Edward de Bono: Asking a question is the simplest way of focusing thinking. Asking the right question may be the most important part of thinking.
One of the Habit of Mind is ‘Questioning and Posing Problems’. It is good to constantly have a questioning attitude. A questioning attitude with a humble and open mind to learn, but not to disrespectfully challenge and put others down. There is a spirit of resilience in wanting to seek answers through posing questions. One question will be frequently asked, ‘How do I know?’ Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were two powerful physicists who constantly pose questions, so as to shape their thinking, and eventually obtain answers which led major breakthroughs in scientific discovery and invention.
The habit of questioning and posing problems also help us to navigate through moral dilemma. For example, for biology, it is useful that we know the basis of life and genetics through learning about DNA. It is of greater importance to reflect on the question of ethics of manipulating DNA. Another example, for physics, explosives and dynamites were first created to help man build cave and tunnel. However man has misused this invention and caused much injury and death to innocent people. Everyone needs to question the ethics of using explosives towards people. As we are learning and exploring new knowledge and ideas, we need to face moral dilemma and constantly ask these questions “Should there be any moral boundaries to scientific research and application, or do we say that the ends justify the means?”
As you are revising for the rest of the subjects, as you are seeking possible answers to tackle the upcoming exam questions, it is also important to ask yourself this questions.
“How do I know I have learnt?”
“How do I know I am prepared for this Mid-Year Examinations?”
Wishing everyone all the best in your papers, and have a fruitful weekend ahead!