Most of us are naturally curious about the world as it exists around us, yet it is too often the case that we seem afraid to appease that curiosity by asking questions of those who might know better than ourselves. Whether this is out of a fear of asking a question about some commonly known fact or out of embarrassment for having to defer to someone else’s intelligence, this is simply a silly thing to do and only stifles future learning opportunities. Questions should be asked often and without hesitation, as most people perceive questioning as a sign of intelligence rather than weakness. Those in a position to answer questions should consider how visual cues such as a saltwater tank can spark conversation and provoke questions.
Over time, it seems that we feel less and less comfortable with asking questions of others for our own edification. The best way to avoid this circumstance is to ensure that any question asked is received in a way that makes the questioner feel good about posing their query. To accomplish this, many parents and teachers have taken to utilizing visual cues that lead to natural questions, and a saltwater fish tank is regarded as an excellent way to encourage precocity in kids approaching school age or who have just begun their formal schooling.
Clearly there are other visual cues that can be used as well, as heating contractors in Phoenix may find it particularly effective to place cross-sections of model heating systems throughout the lobby of their offices so that clients feel more comfortable asking questions about the manner in which their systems function. For the purposes of stimulating an interest in marine biology, however, there are few better options than a saltwater tank. Parents and teachers who set up a saltwater tank will likely find that there will be countless questions asked of them on an incredibly broad range of relevant subjects, but the manner in which parents and teachers respond to these questions is absolutely critical for encouraging long-term academic curiosity.
Though this is very much open for debate, it appears that many people learn that too many questions can become something of an irritant. For kids, it is hard to understand that a parent or teacher’s frustrated reaction to a particular question is not the sole result of the question or the questioner, as there are likely to be countless exterior stressors that are affecting their reaction in that moment. Perhaps the teacher is concerned that any more questions will cause them to fall behind on the lesson plan, or maybe the parent just remembered that the electric bill is past due, so it was merely the timing of the question that caused the frustrated response.
From an adult perspective, this is understandable. From a child’s perspective, however, it may reinforce a belief that questions in general should only be asked when absolutely necessary and not when something has merely piqued their curiosity. It is therefore the case that any question posed should be treated with great care and is deserving of a thoughtful and informed response. Perhaps the best teaching moment is when a child asks a parent about the saltwater tank and finds that their parent does not know the answer. If the parent takes the time to show their child how to find the answer and does the research alongside their child, then the child will see the value of asking questions and will go on to develop a lifelong love of learning.
Of course, a saltwater fish tank is so much more than an educational tool. It is a source of entertainment and joy for all of those who share in the responsibility of caring for the tank, and there are many other reasons why setting up a saltwater tank in a home or school is an excellent idea. In terms of stimulating an interest in education and marine biology in particular, the saltwater tank can be a great way to start an interesting conversation that benefits everyone who happens to be involved.