Essential questions

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Essential questions

  1. 1. Essential questions ‘ Essential questions allow us to explore what knowledge is, how it came to be, and how it has changed through human history.’ -www.galileo.org
  2. 2. Creating Essential questions <ul><li>Your enquiry will only be as good as the essential questions that you can devise to guide your study, so you must create ‘great’ essential questions! </li></ul><ul><li>These essential questions are what will form the backbones of what you research, so quite a bit of thought needs to go into forming them. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Before you start <ul><li>One very good place to start when devising questions is to consider what you already know. </li></ul><ul><li>By asking yourself what you know, you can start thinking about what you want to find out. </li></ul><ul><li>There is space in your reflection journal for this. </li></ul>
  4. 4. How to start… <ul><li>First and foremost, your questions must be ones that you don’t know the answer to! </li></ul><ul><li>Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time researching something that you already know, and what is the point of that! </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Make your questions open-ended, so they don’t have simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. This will force you to research deeper into a subject. </li></ul><ul><li>Your questions need to have meaning: either to you, and/ or to the ‘real world’, so you have a reason to do the research in the first place. Make sure that you are researching something that you are interested in! </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Aim to create questions that will allow you to analyse, evaluate and synthesise, which are higher level thinking skills, rather than just based on comprehension or application, which are lower level thinking skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Following information adapted from http://www.iwebquest.com/webquestcourse/question.htm </li></ul>
  7. 7. Skills and question cues <ul><li>Analysis : </li></ul><ul><li>seeing patterns, organisation of parts, recognition </li></ul><ul><li>of hidden meanings and identification of components </li></ul><ul><li>Question Cues: </li></ul><ul><li>analyse, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer </li></ul><ul><li>Example Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Can you explain why Latin died out and the effect on other languages? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Synthesis: </li></ul><ul><li>use old ideas to create new ones, generalize from given facts, relate knowledge from several areas, predict, draw conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Question Cues: </li></ul><ul><li>combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, compose, formulate, prepare, generalise, rewrite </li></ul><ul><li>Example Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Can you use your knowledge of the language to predict its future evolution? </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Evaluation: </li></ul><ul><li>compare and discriminate between ideas, assess value of theories, make choices based on reasoned argument, verify value of evidence, recognise subjectivity </li></ul><ul><li>Question Cues: </li></ul><ul><li>assess, decide, rank, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarise </li></ul><ul><li>Example Question: </li></ul><ul><li>Compare two or more great writers to determine which you think had the greatest impact on their audience. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What next? <ul><li>Once you have devised your challenge and your essential questions to help you with your research, be sure to ‘test’ each of them by filling in a ‘Plus, Minus, Interesting’ table. </li></ul>
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