Friday March 14 is the 135th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birthday, a good time to think about the importance of asking questions. This was a big theme for Einstein, who told us, “The important thing is not to stop questioning,” while also urging us to question everything and “Never lose a holy curiosity.” Einstein understood that questioning is critical to learning and solving problems. If he were alive today, Einstein would see a world in which questioning has become more important than ever before. But he might also be left wondering why, for the most part, we still don’t encourage questioning or teach it to our children. Let’s start with the growing importance of questioning. Perhaps the best evidence of this can be seen in today’s high-tech world. The leaders of Facebook, Amazon, Google, and a number of other leading companies are known as consummate questioners who constantly ask, Why should we settle for this? and What if we try something different? A number of the top executives in Silicon Valley were educated in Montessori schools, where their curiosity was given room to roam at a young age.
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