negative inquiry

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Are you one of the people who are familiar with how teaching inquiry can improve school performance? If not, let me tell you how teaching inquiry can improve performance. Inquiry-based teaching is a form of teaching method wherein students are asked to learn in an active manner by assessing them on how much they evolve in terms of skills.

So how can teaching inquiry improve the performance of a student? This article will guide you through the advantages and disadvantages of teaching inquiry. Is it going to be helpful for a student or not? Let us see.

Teaching inquiry is also called a problem-based type of teaching. What happens is that lessons are based on what the children do not understand and that can be known through assessing them with their questions and skills. Educators are there to accompany them in developing questions that they need to ask for them to understand the lesson well.

One of the advantages of teaching inquiry is that through the development of their own queries and skills, they could link their questions to their every day lives and in that way, they could easily learn new things since they can relate to whatever they have developed asking.

How teaching inquiry can improve school performance is also a huge advantage for students who are not the type who loves to read long texts on books. Because of the hands-on development of investigations, it would be interesting for a student who does not have the attention span to sit and read books for hours. Those long unbearable hours of trying to understand each lesson in a textbook could be the reason why a student is categorized as a low-achiever. Schools that have been using inquiry teaching have reported that this method of teaching has created wonderful results out of low-achiever students.

This method of teaching could also be an advantage for the educational system issues pertaining to the racism and the gender inequities. Studies showed that educators who was trained to do inquiry teaching was more successful in maximizing the students potential when it comes to learning the subjects at hand. Teaching inquiry is the key to the problems about not giving fair equal education that the American system could not offer to all of the races or in both genders.

Teaching inquiry is a great way to teach students who are culturally challenged or those who are in need of special attention. In other words, students who do not possess the ability to learn and understand a lesson right away are said to have maximized their potential through inquiry teaching. Through the hands-on teaching, students are more likely to relate themselves through their own experiences, which is why it is more effective for them than the traditional way of teaching.

One issue about inquiry teaching is that it has been said that the ideal time to introduce this method of teaching is during the latter part of school years. Young ages should still receive the traditional way of teaching and as they go through their school years, inquiry teaching could be used already for them to learn. Another issue about inquiry teaching is that since the lessons and learning are based on what the students think and how they formulate their questions, people see this as a fall back on educators. Educators look like they are just putting all the work on the students and they do not do anything anymore.

In spite of the negative comments about how inquiry teaching can improve school performance, it has been proven that a lot of students are already benefiting from the program. Inquiry teaching has been said to improve school performances and it already outweighed the traditional ways of teaching.

negative inquiry

Negative inquiry

Negative inquiry

  • Negative inquiry

View this video where Dave Rahn describes a simple but powerful conflict management strategy called negative inquiry and suggests how useful it can be when leading YFC collaboration efforts. Download the document and practice an exercise to help acquire this skill.

Murray Inquiry: Negative gearing in the firing line, but what will it mean for house prices?

Moira Geddes discusses how your lifestyle is being affected by the latest trend in the property market.

  • December 8th 2014
  • 3 years ago
  • /display/ - Real Estate/

The Murray Inquiry criticised investor tax breaks including negative gearing.

WITH everyday Aussies finding it increasingly difficult to buy their first home, experts often point the finger at one controversial feature of the property market.

It’s one of the most divisive tax issues in the country. Banks, the real estate sector and property investors like it, but many argue it unfairly benefits the rich.

Now, a major inquiry into Australia’s financial system has sounded an ominous warning for the future of the contentious tax break, which could soon make it easier for first home buyers to enter the market.

Negative gearing is a popular tax arrangement used by property investors to reduce the amount of tax they pay on their income.

It goes like this: if the cost of owning an investment property, including interest on mortgage repayments, is greater than the rental income on that property, the loss can be used as an offset against other taxable income such as your salary.

Opponents argue it distorts the housing market, pushing prices up and forcing first home buyers to compete with already-wealthy investors — and that position appears to have been given some weight by the release of the long-awaited Financial System Inquiry final report.

Former Commonwealth Bank boss David Murray’s sweeping review of Australia’s financial system identified, in addition to its 44 recommendations, 13 taxes needing to be addressed.

It singled out negative gearing as one of a number of tax arrangements that “distort the allocation of funding and risk in the economy” and may “adversely affect outcomes in the financial system”.

“The tax treatment of investor housing, in particular, tends to encourage leveraged and speculative investment,” the report says.

In other words, the current tax arrangements are fuelling Australia’s obsession with property, and overheating the market.

Could getting into the property market soon become easier?


While its original purpose was to boost housing supply by encouraging investment, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that hasn’t worked.

New construction accounts for just 7.1 per cent of the total value of investor loan approvals, on a long-term downwards trend from 60 per cent in 1985.

Australia had 1.9 million property investors in the 2011/12 financial year, according to the Australian Taxation Office, most of whom failed to cover their costs — the collective net rental loss was $6.8 billion.

“The only reasonable conclusion is that most Australian property investors don’t really care about rental yields,” wrote Business Spectator’s Callam Pickering. “They are in it for the capital gains, which is the very definition of speculative activity.”

Matt Grudnoff, senior economist with the Australia Institute think tank, says negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions are pushing up residential house prices.

“Negative gearing is a tax break that primarily benefits the wealthy,” he said. “Most houses are sold at auction, and about half there will be there to buy the house in order to rent it. Almost all of those would be for the purposes of negative gearing. Obviously with more people bidding, the price will go higher.”

First home buyer loans remain well below the long-term average of 20%. However, the number of loans by owner-occupiers for the construction of homes rose by 1.5% in October to a near 5-year high. CommSec Ecnonomic Insights

  • December 11th 2014
  • 3 years ago
  • /display/ - syndicated/

He says rising prices affect first home buyers the most. “They’re not in the market. If you’re already in the market and it goes up, the house you’re in goes up, so if you’re already in the stream, if you like, and can bid more,” he said.

“The other reason is that a lot of investment properties are the kind first home buyers are looking for, houses that are a little older or smaller. They are targeted by investors who want to rent them out.”

Mr Grudnoff says if negative gearing were removed altogether house prices would either come down or not increase for an extended period of time.

“People have an aversion to selling a house for less than they bought it. What often happens is rather than the price collapsing, it just doesn’t increase for a period of time as the market catches up.”

But an unwanted consequence of removing negative gearing entirely could be a slowing in construction. Ideally, Mr Grudnoff says, it would be limited to new houses and removed for second-hand dwellings.

“Anything that increases supply in the housing market is a good thing,” he said.

Negative gearing pushes up house prices and hurts first home buyers, opponents argue.


On the other side of the debate is property analyst Terry Ryder, director of He says the effect of negative gearing on house prices is negligible. More than that — the entire “affordability crisis” is a complete myth.

“The general rhetoric in terms of the impact of negative gearing on pricing is a storm in a teacup,” he said. “The reality is it’s only Sydney that’s had a house price boom in the last few years. A few other cities have had moderate to solid growth, and others have gone backwards.”

Mr Ryder claims the debate has been misrepresented. The section of the market most responsible for pushing up house prices is the section that never gets discussed: the “next home buyers”, owner-occupiers who are upgrading or relocating.

“They comprise the bulk of the market and they have the capacity to pay top price. They never get talked about and generally they’re the impetus for rising prices.”

Investors comprise roughly a third of the market, but generally they don’t pay top dollar for properties, he argues. Their motivation is to get properties at the lowest price, seeing as they’re not going to live in them.

And the common refrain that the number of first home buyers is falling is based on a miscount anyway — earlier this year, the ABS admitted that its numbers were unreliable because they only represented those accessing first homebuyer grants, which many state governments no longer offer for existing dwellings.

“The problem of first home buyers not being able to buy is the greatest furphy in real estate,” he said. “You even have a federal parliamentary inquiry based on this miscount.”

Indeed, the two quarterly housing affordability studies — one by the Commonwealth Bank in association with the Housing Industry Association, and the other by Adelaide Bank and the Real Estate Institute of Australia — both show affordability has actually been improving.

“Both have found that right now it’s the best it’s been in 10 years, due to a combination of moderate price growth, steadily rising incomes and record low interest rates,” said Mr Ryder.

Two quarterly surveys have found housing affordability has been improving.


One potential side effect of removing tax breaks could be a sharp drop in supply, leading to rapidly rising rents, as Paul Keating found when he tried to wind back negative gearing the during the Hawke Government in the mid-1980s.

“He very quickly brought it back in,” said Mr Ryder. “It reduced the attractiveness of property investment for some parts of the market. People stopped buying investment properties or sold the ones they had. That resulted in a shortage of rental properties and as a consequence rents rose sharply.”

The 2009 Henry Tax Review issued a similar warning, saying changing the taxation of investment properties could have an adverse impact in the short to medium term on the housing market.

“Reducing net rental losses and capital gains tax concessions may in the short term reduce residential property investment,” Ken Henry wrote. “In a market facing supply constraints, these reforms could place further pressure on the availability of affordable rental accommodation.”

Stephen Kirchner, research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies think tank, says it’s a myth that negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions are responsible for rising house prices.

“Many people suppose that housing affordability can be improved by making investment in housing less attractive via the tax system, thereby reducing investor demand and benefiting owner-occupiers, including first home buyers,” he wrote earlier this year.

“But this assumes that the effects of these policies can be quarantined to the demand side of the market and have no implications for dwelling supply.”

The animus directed at negative gearing is as much an objection to the tax deduction as its supposed implications for housing affordability, he said.

“Property investors specialise in bearing market risks that many owner-occupiers and renters are either unwilling or unable to take. Reducing incentives for risk-bearing through the tax system will adversely affect the supply side of the housing market, as well as reduce demand, with uncertain implications for house prices and affordability.”

negative inquiry

[Note from Timothy: The following is a very insightful and useful expansion and adaptation, by dear friend John Prendergast, of The Work, originated by Byron Katie, for helping anyone, especially therapists and their clients, to release negative self-judgments and open up to the spacious Awareness that is our Real Nature or True Identity. John Prendergast, Ph.D., is a longtime psychotherapist with a large private practice, an instructor at CIIS graduate institute in San Francisco, senior editor of the two-volume Nondual Wisdom & Psychotherapy book series, and seven-time convenor of the annual conference of the same name. Email: [email protected]]

Deconstructive Inquiry into Negative Self Judgments

(c) Copyright by John J. Prendergast, Ph.D. (Revised 2007)

The following method is an adaptation of Byron Katie's "The Work". Please see her book, Loving What Is (Harmony Books, 2002) and her website at for a complete description. Katie's method arose directly out of her spontaneous and tumultuous awakening and took several years to fully develop. The heart of her approach is to question the reality of our thoughts, particularly our judgments of others. She encourages people to write down their judgments according to a structured protocol, ask four questions about these judgments and then reverse them and see how they apply to oneself. She composed a little saying to describe the process, which she admits, "isn't Rumi": "Judge your neighbor, write it down, ask four questions and turn it around."

Over the years, I have attended several long workshops with Katie, witnessed her lead hundreds of people through "The Work", and done the written work many times myself. I find it quite useful and profound, particularly in the field of relationship. In trying to apply it to my private practice with clients, however, I have found that it works better with some important modifications. Since it can be a lengthy and complex written process, I have also significantly shortened it.

First, I have noticed that my clients tend to get more stuck on their self-judgments than their judgments of others. While Katie recommends first focusing on the judgment of others, I focus on self-judgments since all judgments of others are ultimately rooted in self-judgment and all relationships with others start with our relationship to our self.

Secondly, I include body sensations and feelings, something that Katie does not focus on. While nearly all disturbing feelings and sensations originate in our conscious and subconscious thinking, I have found it important to include all dimensions of our experience when doing inquiry. The body has a way of keeping us on track with our deepest truth.

Thirdly, I introduce several preliminary steps that invite clients to witness a thought as an object and then turn their attention to awareness itself before they question the validity of their beliefs. There is a stepping back from a belief before there is a stepping into a belief. There is an inquiry into the storyteller as well as the story. This tends to invoke a wider and deeper kind of knowing - a spacious heart wisdom.

Finally, I encourage an attitude of innocent curiosity so that there is no sense of pressure to come up with the right answer. "The Work" can sometimes get very pushy ("Can you really know that it is true?"). Power dynamics can interfere with the innocent inquiry into the truth by engendering resistance or compliance. I rarely follow all of the following steps sequentially when I work with clients. Sometimes it is enough to ask one question, or just uncover a core negative belief. It is important to be creative and flexible and to make this inquiry process your own. After all, it is not written in stone. Having said this, it is also quite useful to go through this entire protocol more or less intact and get a sense of its full transformative power. So be creative, spontaneous and enjoy yourself!

1. “Notice a distressing self-judgment, feeling or sensation.”

a. If the client is aware of only the belief, invite him/her to also be aware of the feeling and the sensation that go with it. b. If the client is aware of only a feeling, invite him/her to be aware of the belief and the sensation. c. If the client is aware of only a sensation, invite him/her to be aware of the belief and the feeling.

We are inviting clients to gather the basic elements of their experience - thoughts, feelings and sensations - with an emphasis on the thoughts. It is not necessary to have all of the elements, however, in this case we need at least the self-judgment in order to proceed. It is very helpful to sense the body while identifying a disturbing thought. We will return to the body sensing at the end of the protocol (step #8).

2. “Focus on the self-judgment. Just notice it as a thought.”

Comment: Here we invite clients to step back from their self judgments and to see them as objects. Some people call this stage the "observing ego". This can be a novel investigation for some clients, particularly non-meditators. Thoughts are not generally considered to be "things". You can coach clients by suggesting that they see the thought as a sentence projected on a screen or written on a blackboard in front of them or by hearing it spoken as a phrase.

3. “Notice that something is aware of this thought. What is your sense of this awareness?”

Comment: This "pointing out" instruction, inspired by [Indian sages] Nisargadatta Maharaj's injunction to focus on the "I-sense" and Ramana Maharshi's self-inquiry (“Who am I?”), is designed to directly invoke that background awareness or openness that is the source of thought. This is a powerful, delicate, surprising, and sometimes disorienting question for clients who have never turned their attention to the apparent "experiencer". More contemplative clients will quickly drop into a bigger sense of space. Others may not understand the question or report another image, thought, feeling or sensation.

Example: "I see a little girl." If this happens, explain that this is an experiential rather than a mental inquiry. It is about their felt-sense, not some idea about their experience. Point out that something is aware of this particular thought (or image, feeling or sensation) and ask again, "What is your felt sense of this awareness?" Take your time and go slowly. If clients become stuck or frustrated, let go, normalize that it can be a confusing question, and move to the next step (#4).

If clients say, "me" or "I am," say , "Yes, and what is your sense of this me or this I am?"

If they say, "I don't know." Say, "Exactly! There is a sense of not knowing. Tell me more about that sense."

Sometimes the whole sense of there being a problem falls away at this point as the thought is seen to be what is it - a mental construct without any inherent validity. What is left is a sense of spacious openness. If there is a big opening; take your time and encourage your clients to relax into it before you go on. The rest of the inquiry process may become irrelevant at this point.

(I find that pointing attention to the sense of awareness is much more accessible than asking, "Who or what is aware?" which tends to invoke a more mental response.)

4. “From this sense of (use client's description, i.e.: space, openness, not knowing) bring your attention to the original thought and innocently ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’ Let the question go, wait quietly, and notice what comes to you.”

Comment: Here, the normal protocol of Byron Katie's "The Work" begins (in a modified form), yet usually from a bigger sense of space and a more attuned heart wisdom than ordinarily practiced. We are inviting a different kind of knowing to emerge with this question, something other than the ordinary (conflicted, judging) rational mind. We are not looking for a particular answer. We are inviting genuine curiosity. Accept whatever comes. Once clients answer in a way that feels true to them encourage them to be with their answer and let it in. If clients answer that they believe their negative judgment, don't challenge or argue with them. Just say, "okay, fine" and go to the next step (#5).

5. “What is the effect on yourself and others when you hold onto the belief that (restate their original belief)?”

Comment: We are investigating the impact of the negative self judgment. Take your time to explore each facet of the question - the impact first on oneself and then on others. Very surprising insights can arise at this point. The effect of judgment will always be separation within one self and between one self and others. It is important to note that it is our attachment to beliefs, not the beliefs themselves, that is problematic. Once we no longer believe our story, it loses its power and eventually falls away. It is enough to see the false as false. The truth takes care of itself. It does not need to be asserted and it cannot be ultimately denied, although the conditioned mind will try its best to do both!

6. “Who or how are you without this belief?”

Comment: This is a variation of the classic question, "Who am I?" Take plenty of time here and allow the experience to sink in. Notice that this question is posed in the present tense, a change from Katie's "who would you be without this belief?”

You can make this question more specific by asking your clients to imagine themselves in a specific situation or with a specific person without their old story. For instance, "What is it like right now to be with David without holding the belief that. "

7. “What is the exact opposite of this belief? (pause) Is it as true or more true?”

Comment: This is what Byron Katie calls the "turnaround" or "reversal". Feel free to use those terms, if you prefer. I find that the above formulation ("exact opposite") works nicely. Keep it very simple. For example, "I am unlovable" becomes "I am lovable", or "I am ugly" becomes, "I am not ugly". But be flexible. "I am beautiful" may have more impact. If clients find that the opposite of their negative belief seems less true, don't argue. It usually means that there is an underlying belief at work (often around safety) that has yet to be examined

Since this inquiry assumes that no concept is ultimately true, we don't need to become attached to the opposite of a negative self-judgment. Affirmations may arise, but they are not emphasized. It is enough to see that a polarity of our cherished belief may well be as true as the original. This helps the mind to see its limits and to let go.

An additional interesting question to pose along these lines is: “What happens when you allow both beliefs to be there at the same time?” This can help catapult fixated attention into the background openness that is free of any polarized position. The ancient tantric practice of Yoga Nidra works with this principle. [See the extensive work by transpersonal psychotherapist Richard Miller on Yoga Nidra, which he is widely applying to cases of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other conditions, especially through his process of iRest (Integrative Restoration);]

8. “Notice how your body feels. What do you experience?”

Comment: We come back to the body at the end of this process and offer clients a chance to compare their current felt-sense of themselves with their original feeling. It also helps them to feel the impact of their thinking. If there is continuing distress and time permits, you may begin another round of inquiry which will often focus on a related or even deeper negative self-judgment. Sometimes an original self-judgment will give way to a deeper one mid-way through a cycle. I continue with the new one when this happens.

Once you get the hang of this process, you can guide a client through these steps within 15-20 minutes. It is good to leave some time at the end of the session to debrief and get feedback. This inquiry usually is a gradual process of seeing through layers of the self-world view. Clients begin to internalize the various steps and spontaneously apply them to their experience as it arises in the moment.