The Power of WHY?

As teachers we often give students the answers without ever getting them to ask the question first. As children and young people they are born inquisitive but somehow they lose some of this as they get older. Are we playing a part?


So lets think for a minute….. Have you ever thought about the following…

Why Everest is getting higher every year?

Or why Africa only contributes about 3% to world finance

Or why 50% of the world’s population live on 1% of the world’s surface.

Or why the earth’s magnetic field changes every million years

Or why the Middle East is called the Middle East.

(Middle of what and East of what?)

Or why the earth is round or why there is oil under deserts,

or whats the average age of a seagull, or..or..or.. ?


As a Geography Department here in Westfield Academy we have turned our focus towards getting our students to ask the questions before they receive the answers. We want them to be in awe of the world we live in and question what surrounds them on a daily basis.




Below are the strategies we use and implement on a daily basis. Though these strategies are simple they are extremely effective and go a long way towards the development of a growth mindset both in and outside the classroom.

  1. Video clips to promote awe and wonder – also a key learning tool for the visual learner.
  2. Home is where the heart is – Geography in context – We aim to provide UK based examples to give students the opportunity to relate to subject content and then broaden their horizons.
  3. Geography Cartoons – Unlock the meaning of the Geography cartoon – Encourages students to think outside the box and make links between key topics.
  4. It is all about me – for students not born in the UK giving them the opportunity to provide examples that are relevant to course content along with areas that they too can relate to.



Promoting an environment where students feel confident enough to ask questions and dig deeper into the areas they are studying is where we aim to be.


As teachers we can play our part in this and allow students time and space for enquiry and investigation. The general approach to how we speak in the classroom needs to focus on a positive mindset. It’s not how many times you fall down but how many times you get up and keep going.


As the year draws to a close let’s enjoy what has been an amazing year. Enjoy the summer and roll on 2017-2018.

A little awe and wonder…

The John Wayne legend lives on:

[T]hat at the rehearsal for “The Greatest Story Ever Told’, The Duke, playing the Roman soldier who speared Jesus on the cross, said rather flatly: “Truly he was the son of God”. the director said: “Not like that, say it with awe!”

Obligingly Wayne repeated his line: “Aw, truly he was the son of God.”

Lena and Graham