Loaded Questions

Loaded questions is a very interesting subject. I think this is getting to be an interesting battleground in our society. One well known political pollster has written a book called something like ‘Why Words Matter’ and the other side has a whole soul searching debate about how to ‘frame the message’, thinking they are being ‘out-framed’. 

I think this is a great lesson for us in this communications course. What we say and what they hear can be two totally different things. They are mostly likely importantly different even under the best of circumstances. Of course, all that matters in communication is what the other person hears. So picking the right words and monitoring for comprehension is a big deal.

Even more so in teaching. Even in my limited experience, getting 1st graders to understand the math concept we are working on is very challenging. Each one seems to hear in importantly different ways. They fit the new bit of knowledge into what they know already know differently. And they understand the concept differently. Keeping the message clear while juggling five or six of them in a breakout group is quite demanding. Making sure they get the message in a ‘lecture’ whole class format must be even harder.

I think success in teaching is about time and repitive interaction, both luxuries in school. But at the same time all the tools we have dabbled in here and will learn more about will help us craft messages in ways which reduce the need for time and repetition.

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