La questiologie ou l’art de poser les bonnes questions: Frederic Falisse at TEDxPantheonSorbonne

Translator: Jane Dineen
Reviewer: Denise RQ Who among you asks
at least one question a day? Please raise your hands. Who asks at least one question a day? Who among you in your professional life
asks at least one question a day? It’s obvious: to ask questions
is an everyday act. It’s an everyday act, and yet, you and I, consistently ask
the same types of questions, which represent only 15%
of the possibilities for questions. Why? Because when we ask questions, we want to obtain information
that confirms our vision of the world, that confirm our perception
of the situation, that actually confirm
our map of the world. If someone does something a bit like this, you would ask, “Why?
What’s gotten into you? We are, after all, at the Sorbonne!” And it’s up to him to justify it,
to explain himself, because we want to understand it. “Comprendre” comes from
the Latin “comprendere”, to grasp with intelligence
so as to gather into a coherent whole. We want to understand what he does
in terms of our map of the world. It’s because we want to understand
that we limit our questions to only 10 to 15% of possible questions. And I, today, want above all
to talk to you about the other 80 % of questions. of their richness,
of the need to use them. I would also like to talk to you
about questiology, the art and science of asking questions. There is a technique
for multiplying your questions. The first to understand, long ago, the need to multiply
or change questions, was Socrates. Socrates gave questions
as one gives a present. If one of his disciples complains
of injustice, that’s unjust. Socrates, rather than ask him,
“Why do you complain about injustice?” – notice that this does not
advance the debate- asks him, “What hypotheses can you make
to conclude that there is an injustice?” You see that the perspective
of the response changes sides. Here, the disciple examines how it works. In offering this question, Socrates allows the disciple
to think about how he thinks. That is the definition of reflection. And, in addition, he lets him discover
what constitutes his map of the world. To lead out and cause to emerge is the etymological meaning of “educate”. The objective of Socrates in
asking questions was to cause reflection in order to educate his young disciples. His idea was remarkable;
and Aristotle, another philosopher, founded the first secondary school
in Athens on this principle: to ask questions that cause reflection
in order to educate. So, where are we today
in the schools of the 21st century, we who live in France? Questions are abundantly used, but mainly for evaluating the student, who must then respond
with what he has been taught. In this case, one poses a question
expecting only one answer, which one knows in advance. That is the definition of interrogation. To instruct, and then to interrogate
is the school of the 21st century today, Very, very different from
what Socrates has in mind. But that is what we have learned. And so when we ask questions, we ask questions in order to examine
what is happening around us, to verify, and to consolidate
our map of the world. You may say to me, “All this works
quite well, why ask other questions? What good can that do?” And Einstein pointed
the way to a response. This message is magnificent because Einstein explains to us
the genius of his research. It lies in forming questions
more than in answering them. In fact, we can tell ourselves that, if he had asked himself
the traditional question, “Why are the celestial movements not explained by current theories?”, he would not have caused physics
to progress, as he did. Instead, we can imagine
he asked himself a Socratic question, “What hypothesis do
our current theories make to explain the celestial movements?” And there, as a revolutionary,
he proposes to change the hypotheses. He proposes that time and space
are not constant that time and space are not constant. A revolutionary idea. But in doing this, he changes the map
of the world of physics, and he allows incredible
innovations in physics. So, you see, asking questions is crucial, and the technique
of asking questions, questiology, to understand that, put yourself into the skin
of the one to whom you ask the question. Whatever the question is about,. you will first suggest
taking a certain stance. A stance, that is when you ask
someone a question, you invite him to respond possibly
as one who acts – he does something – or as an observer, he sees what happens, or you ask him to reflect
on what he feels, or again, to take a step back
from the situation. The first way to vary the questions. The second way is a mental action. When you ask someone a question, you invite him to make
a specific mental action. We can compare mental actions
to physical actions. If you kick a ball
or hit it with a tennis racket, you don’t use the same muscles
or obtain the same results That makes sense. In the same way, if I ask you
to summarize a situation, you will use different parts of your brain than if I ask you to analyze a situation. These do not use the same neurons. They do not use the same connections. To help you better understand
how questiologie works, here is a video of a coaching
session with teenagers. (Video) Student: However, I work hard,
I participate in class, I pay attention, I work a lot at home, but once I’m in a test,
I forget everything, I’m blocked. You see this teenager,
he is already extremely active, he is an actor in his situation. He works, he listens in class,
he participates, he is looking for solutions for his exam. If I ask him the question, “Why are you blocked during the exam?”, that won’t help him. He is already taking action, and with my question,
I would be asking him to take action. Instead, I will suggest
that he change his stance, first to feel what happens, and then to take a step back
from what he does. (Video) Teacher: When you are facing an exam,
and you are blocked, how do you feel? Student: Actually, I have
a visceral fear of failing my test. It keeps me from getting anywhere. Teacher: And what are you afraid of
when you are afraid of failing your exam? Student: Uh, OK, if I have bad grades, I think that will keep me from
choosing what I want to do later on. (On stage) FF: You see,
just in changing stances, this teen can become aware
of his map of the world. Simply. And the question
that allows him to take a step back is not difficult to construct. Its grammar is not incredibly difficult. It was enough to double the verb. “What are you afraid of when
you are afraid of failing your exam?” and he realizes
that the stakes of his exam are in fact to be able
to choose his career. To take a step back by doubling the verb, works with any verb; you can try it. Once that is done, he became aware
of his map of the world. It is mow a matter of offering him
opportunities, new paths. And for that, we need to suggest
different mental actions. The mental action
that he has used until now is to describe what happens to him. Here, I will suggest to him
a mental action by bringing together
two disparate elements. (Video) Teacher: So, this means
that, to fail an exam, prevents you from choosing
what you want to do later on. Student: Well, no, I won’t be blocked
just because of one exam from one option or another. FF: “Well, no. Well, no.”
It’s as simple as that. After this mental action,
I’ll suggest another to him; this one will put him into a situation. (Video) Teacher: Agreed. What’s the worst
that it could mean, to fail an exam? Student: I would simply need to retake it,
to be thorough, to pay attention. FF: You see, suggesting to him
mental actions and different stances, can multiply the possibilities,
whatever the subject. Double good news in this story is that there are only four stances
and about ten mental actions. It’s completely manageable:
four and ten is manageable. The good news is that this multiplies
by 40 the possibilities for questions and so of responses,
and so of possibilities. So you who are parents,
in your private lives, parents, children, or who are husbands, wives,
who are friends, ask different questions,
open opportunities for your near ones. In your professional lives,
know how to ask different questions, allowing for a much wider map of the world
and new possibilities. So this is the goal of questiology: to allow everyone to vary and multiply
the types of questions they ask, to choose those that reward them
and allow them to progress. Today, in the 21st century,
we face unprecedented challenges, economic, ecological, demographic, etc. We’ll need to respond to these challenges
as Einstein invites us to, not by immediately looking for answers, but by asking new good questions. We need, for our future, leaders who are capable
of asking better questions. And that is the goal of questiology. I thank you for listening, and if you have questions,
I am at your service. Thank you. (Applause)

local_offerevent_note September 24, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


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