I’ve spent chunks of the past year in classrooms all over the world, pondering this question.
One of the worst experiences was in a respectable public middle school in North America where I was giving a talk in the auditorium. Teachers patrolled the sides of the room like prison guards, silently threatening the children by looming over them when they showed the least bit of enthusiasm.
I was telling the kids stories and asking them questions, and they were getting all excited figuring out answers despite the menacing presences. Finally, one of their teachers sidled up to me and said: "Don’t ask them questions. Just tell them what you want them to know."
I formed the image that she wanted me to just zip open their heads and pour in the information, unfiltered by their own ideas. It felt like she thought their brains were just storage silos.