Researcher aims to teach students how to solve tough social work cases with questions instead of answers

Beth Archer-Kuhn, University of Calgary Teaching Grants recipient, explores the impact of teaching students how to ask the right questions

By Jessica Snow, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

Why does the moon change shape? How do pineapples grow? What are my bones made of? Anyone who has spent time with a small child knows that, in the early stages of our development, human beings have a natural curiosity about the world that is expressed through a constant flow of questions. As we reach adulthood, this inquisitiveness can become stifled by a fear of asking the wrong question, seeming ignorant in front of a group, or assuming we already know the right answer. 

Although the ability to pose a thoughtful, articulate question may seem straightforward, it can be anything but. For Beth Archer-Kuhn, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Social Work, teaching students how to think about asking good questions is one of the key objectives of her research in her University of Calgary Teaching and Learning Grants project: Exploring inquiry-based learning in social work education in an international context. Archer-Kuhn has engaged in this research along with Yeonjung Lee, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Social Work.

Read more