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Be Curious, Ask Questions

This activity won't just help to support teachers, it will also help people who are home schooling and other outdoor providers, you will be able to use this in your provision to deliver activities.

The model, this tool is about reframing the language that we use so we try to avoid blanket statements and we head towards constructive and supportive conversations

The way that we do that is by using this quadgraph. Quadgraphs split our language into four really useful sections. Once we have identified those four sections we can start to adapt the way that we speak to people and role model this tool and framework and you will be able to provide this framework directly to your students so that they can start to develop this framework to.

The way this quadgraph works is that we have a vertical line and at the end of the line we have the polar opposites of each other.

At the top we have positive language, this is painting a positive upbeat, supportive picture in someone's mind

On the opposite end we have negative language and it paints the opposite of the positive picture so it's not very supportive, it is very negative, down, not being very optimistic , very pessimistic language being used.

They are the polar opposites of each other and that is the vertical line. Positive at the top, negative at the bottom.

Now imangine there is a line that goes horizontal going through the middle making a plus sign which gives us our quadgraph.

On the left hand side we have statement, this is very much the end of a conversation, it can be a blanket statement or a direct statement, there are no threads you can pull to turn it into a conversation. It is very much matter of fact , that's the way it is, stop talking, there is my statement. Alot of things would be , well done , good, fine, no more, whatever, those are kind of blanket statements, words which end a conversation, there is no lead into having a constructive , meaningful conversation. It is very much a statement , a finishing of it, that's it, done.

On the right hand side we have questioning, same with positive and negative, statement and questioning are completley opposite. It is getting someone to engage in the conversation with you by using well thought out questions which lead them down a path of self discovery or a discovery which you are providing as well.

That gives us our quadgraph, our four areas that we can then use. We are going to explore those four areas in a bit more detail now working in an anti clockwise fashion.

Starting with the top left square on our quadgraph which is positive statement. This would be things almost like a reward, saying well done for good work, giving people high fives, those kind of things. It is very positive, upbeat, very supportive, however it is a statement. There are no diving into the reasons why it was good , no exploring how we can replicate it, it is just a blanket, well done, you did really well there, you did really good work, those kind of things.

We will move down a square now so we are at the bottom left and that will be statement and negative, like before the polar opposite of it

We are giving them a blanket statement of it, which is an abrupt negative statement," that didn't go well"," you shouldn't of done that". They are statements which are negative, they are not exploring why they did something, it is not exploring how they could do something diffrerent, it is just recognising they have done something bad with no explaination for it whatsoever.

Going across to the bottom right hand side, that will be negative questioning.

Now we are starting to recognise they have done something wrong or recognise something didn't go well but we are starting to explore why it didn't go well. We will be pushing down this growth path now because we are not going "that didn't go well" we are going " why did you not think it went well?" "what elements of the plan didn't quite come together and produce the result we got?"

We are trying to guide them down a pathway to explore their performance, to explore their situation and for them to come up with a solution for themselves. To recognise what went wrong, what are they going to change if they ever have to repeat the task at hand.

That is really powerful beacause if we get them to recognise it, if we get them to identify it, when they reach that situation again they already have it cememted in their brains what they are not going to do. They have a baseline experience that they can grow and build upon afterwards.

Going up one we have positive questions, again this is going to be a reward , we are talking about their success and how they can replicate it. Why it went well?, how they could do it again?, what things could they put in place to make that achievement a little bit easier next time?, so very positive , very supportive but down that questioning idea you will be able to get some sort of useful informatioin from it at the end. Why it went well? Who worked hard? How they can replicate this in the future?

It is all very positive but you are looking at how you can repeat it to achieve something really well.

That gives us our four different sections of our quadgraph

The model isn't asking us to keep everything positive as life isn't always positive. There are times when things go wrong , times when things produce a few hurdles for us so all this model is trying to do is to engage in conversation. Instead of giving blanket statements or using language which cuts off any chance of a conversation. It is getting them to explore what has happened whether it is negative or whether it is positive it is getting them to understand that if it is negative what went wrong? Next time we are in this situation what are we going to do differently so we have a different result.

The same with the positive things It went well, how can we replicate this in the future? It is getting them to get into that thought process part of their input/output cycle. It is getting them to replicate or earmark the plan they have come up with through the plan-do-review-implement stage. It is getting them to identify the section in the FAIL model which went really well, whichever model you have used it is getting them to identify what went well so they can replicate those parts, which bits need improvement so they can change those and move forward and which bits need to be completely removed as they didnt serve you, they were negative , they didnt really help at any point, what bits do we need to remove?

It allows us to start thinking about how we can change when we are hosting a conversation. It is getting you to move away from the statements towards the questioning and putting the power onto the other person, getting them to discover their answers. Us telling them, going into a statement is going in one ear and out the other. If we get them to come to their own conclusions it is quite powerful because they have discovered it, it is their finding. The only way we can do that is by guiding them using carefully crafted questions which can be positive or negative but they are in the question section.

Hopefully this model has been really easy to understand because this can level up whatever you are providing whether it is the team challenges or problem solving challenges that you will find inside the hub or whether you are going to use this with other activities like PE lessons or other outdoor activities.


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