Here is my question: what is the relationship between our ability to ask good questions as a culture, our capacity for self-governance, and our democratic institutions?
At the Right Question Institute (RQI), we know that when we formulate questions about anything, we organize our thinking about what we do not know. That deceptively simple, self-conscious act of naming what you want to know is what creates an engaged learner, a curious individual. We believe that, though it’s been long neglected, it’s a fundamental critical thinking skill, as important as reading, writing and arithmetic.
Furthermore, in the course of three decades, we’ve discovered that asking good questions is not just an ability some people are born with but an innate potential that we all have. And even more importantly, we’ve learned how to model, teach, facilitate, develop and strengthen that innate capacity. In an open society, it’s a good thing: better questions make us all better critical thinkers and more engaged, lifelong learners. And the more we learn, the better our questions become.