Not sure if I should thank Claire and Tara or not. I can't recall where or even how the discussion began but it has haunted me over these last few days. The conversation went something like this ...
Claire and Tara cornered me in a quiet moment, amidst the frenzy of the school morning hustle and bustle. "Why are people hungry and starve in the world Jeff?" Tara asked. Wanting to get on with the planned learning for the day I tried to quickly appease her, "It's really complicated girls. There are many issues that make it difficult."
But Claire persisted, "But why is it so difficult?"
I lamely fumbled, grabbing at phrases, "International relationships, poverty, corruption." Then, realising I was sinking fast, I offered, "You're right. It shouldn't be hard at all!"
I'm heading back to thank Claire and Tara for their persistence in asking important questions and to invite them and others who wish to join us to work out what we can do about hunger in our world.
Adults often use questions to explore what they want to know of others. Perhaps they come across as interrogators of personal worlds rather than prompters of imaginations! A chuckle arose in the Pender's Grove staffroom recently when teachers passed around a Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman comic entitled Zits.
For some sharp ideas about what makes a lame question check out the cartoons at http://zitscomics.com/comics/october-31-2012/.
Do students really think this way about adult questions at home and at school?