Teaching Goals

Questions and Problem Solving in Learning

Teachers ask students many questions, and teachers also ask many questions of themselves. Teachers use skill in asking questions as an initial and powerful step in problem solving. The value of asking a question is that it clarifies the problem that you want to solve, it primes your mind to receive the answer, and asking the question gives you a personal stake in obtaining the answer. Asking the question, therefore, helps to solve the motivational problem because once you have asked a question, the problem becomes your problem. As a further display of the power of interrogation, often simply asking a question is enough to supply the answer or, alternately, to suggest a simple approach by research or experimentation to find a desired answer. Developing skill at designing and asking questions makes people more curious, more analytical, and more highly motivated to do intellectual work. For these reasons, teaching interrogative skills is an insidious, seductive and powerful approach to develop problem solving skills.

One problem with our educational system is that we do not receive formal instruction or encouragement in designing and asking questions. I believe about one third of our school curriculum from the earliest grades should be devoted to this necessary life skill. Asking questions is essential for interpersonal relationships, business, crime detection, interviewing, mathematics, teaching, and science. Where information is concerned, literally, if you don't ask, you don't get! In our educational system, very clever people learn to ask questions by teaching themselves this skill. However, this is a skill that can be developed more generally and one that can be taught.

Biochemistry 472

The purpose of BCH 472 course is to give an intensive and rigorous experience to undergraduates in recombinant DNA laboratory techniques, and to augment the laboratory experience with related theoretical material.

Implementation
In BCH 472, computers are used as tools for self-teaching and learning. Skill with computers is essential in modern education. Many leading questions are asked of students, and students are encouraged to ask questions. It is hoped that students may realize the importance of refining and asking questions as a first step in problem solving.
Philosophy of Teaching
The educational process as a partnership between teacher and student. Teachers analyze, organize and present material for students, but in order to learn the material, the individual student must go through a very similar intellectual process to that of the teacher in the original preparation of the lesson.
Questions and Problem Solving in Learning
If you don't ask, you don't get! In our educational system, very clever people learn to ask questions by teaching themselves this skill. However, this is a skill that can be developed more generally and one that can be taught.