It’s a Friday and sometimes that’s an excuse for a slightly off-topic post 🙂
Earlier in the week, I was listening to a programme on Radio 4 whilst preparing a meal. The programme was a short documentary where a famous piece of art was taken into a primary school (instead of taking the school to the museum).
The painting was shrouded in a cover and revealed to a class of young children. And the teacher asked them what they first thought when they saw the picture.
“Don’t be afraid to speak up,” prompted the teacher.
At which point, the boldest child shouted out ‘It’s great!’. Another agreed and it got a bit noisy as others chimed up with similar words.
And then a quiet voice asked “Why is it so colourful?”
What a beautiful question. The teacher talked about how it had been painted in the Summer and a short discussion about colours took place.
Then an even quieter voice asked ‘How much does it cost?”
The conversation did make me smile. Whilst it’s great to encourage children to be bold and brave, to not be afraid to speak up, I’d be more chuffed if my child was one of those thoughtful quieter ones. Preferably the budding creative, but a future Richard Branson would do too. Curiosity trumps just shouting out what you think is the right answer. To steal a line from one of my mentors, always be learning.
I’ve always believed you can judge (and learn from) people’s questions better than their answers. That’s how I feel out people in interviews.
The great thing about kids is they don’t have as many societal filters ingrained in them, so they ask such wonderful questions.
Thanks for the comment and completely agree.
Whilst it’s not strictly true that there’s no such thing as a stupid question, it’s far easier to come up with a stupid answer. I saw a great quote once – “There are no smart or stupid people, just people being smart or stupid. Smart is thinking things through, and things are often not what they seem. Stupid avoids thinking by jumping to conclusions, and you can’t always trust your instincts.”