“Why?” Is the Question
Young children are consistently asking “why?” They have an instinctive need to know about everything that enters their worlds. Their senses are hard wired to be on the alert for stimuli which captures their interest. As we grow older, we continue to be curious about our environment, however, we may not be as expressive about what we would like to investigate. This may be because we are patient and want to see if understanding arrives in our thought processes, or more possibly, we are just too hesitant to ask.
Throughout our lives, our mental alert system is ready to go into high gear when we have the tendency to ask, “Why?” “Why” opens up avenues of thought. We are now ready to imagine and problem solve. We begin to see possibilities and to test hypotheses. We are building a knowledge base as we explore errors and misconceptions. Our “why” mechanism constructs intrinsic motivation as our interest and curiosity piques. Our thinking deepens as we collaborate and continue down the “why” trail expanding our questions with, “Why did you do that?” or “Why do you think that is true?” etc. With discussion of our theory, we are solving undefined and perplexing situations leading to overall understanding of issues.
The journey toward growth of mind continues with the cousin questions of “how” and “what” that are introduced to parallel with “why.” The student can now use the acquired skills and ideas as problems are solved as well as theories explored. Informed guesses are formulated, decisions considered, opinions evaluated, and patterns conceived. Our brains consider the “why” and experiment with the “what” and the “how.” This process continues for a lifetime of successful learning.
It is wondrous to see mental growth progress as the “why” questions mount and get more complex. Along the way, we detect patterns and connect our learning to prior knowledge. Higher order thinking habits are enhanced as our brains become more flexible to approach more difficult situations. We are now set for a lifetime of well thought out answers to our “why” questions, including the ability to share our knowledge with others deepening our own and others’ understanding of the world.
An education that fosters a natural curiosity, such as at Oak Hill Academy in Lincroft, New Jersey, gives children a pathway to a lifetime of learning and fulfillment. “Why,” what an incredible concept!
Oak Hill Academy is a NJ private school that is co-educational, independent, nonsectarian, and nonprofit for grades pre-kindergarten through eight. Oak Hill Academy is dedicated to a traditional, challenging, and caring learning environment that encourages comprehensive thought processes and deep understandings; thus promoting the wholesome intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical lifetime growth of our students. If you want to learn more about what makes Oak Hill Academy one of the best private school in NJ, visit us online at www.oakhillacademy.com , or subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when we post more topics.