Essential questioning


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Presentation On Essential Questioning

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Essential questioning

  1. 1. By Joe Korfmacher
  2. 2. Links  These are the sites I will looking at:    
  3. 3. Site 1- Galileo- Creating Essential Questions  This site goes over key components of essential questions for application purposes.  Their points are:  A question that is essential is one that people ask to learn more about their world. These kinds of questions have been asked for generations  An essential question should also be deep enough that it connects to more than one learning discipline, and it requires critical thinking.  Essential questions should also be explored by a group (like a class) because answering one together will not only allow for discovery about the question but also for people to discover things about each other.
  4. 4. Site 1- Continued (Galileo)  Essential questions connect us to human knowledge of the past and the present.  The big goal of an essential question is to connect the known with the unknown, or the other way around. The more you explore the more you can learn.  Essential questions should not have boundaries. Students should be able to take them in their own directions to control their learning process. Imagination and creativity are key. If a question like this is used properly, it should allow students to produce answers in more ways then verbally or written responses. Instead, various projects could be spawned off of the questions, expanding learning further.
  5. 5. Site 2- FNO- Trivial Pursuit Etc.  This site does a nice job explaining something I already hated about education. That is, teachers asking pointless questions. I dealt with it as a student, and now with my coworkers. Here are some of the points made.  Questions that ask for useless facts are just that…useless.  Leading questions, where the teacher has already given hints on the answer or mentioned it, are also worthless. Most teachers just use these as an excuse to break their lecture and pretend students are engaged.  Questions that ask for too much information, that students cannot possibly know, are equally a waste of time.
  6. 6. Site 2- Continued..So What is Good?  Questions that address critical thinking and can be answered without prior knowledge work best.  A class should be edged in the direction of information but not led.  Students should be able to interpret facts and data through essential questioning.  If I tell a class “Calvin Coolidge was a quiet man and as president he tended to turn to his aides and other government figures to make many decisions”, I can then form a question from that.  Example: What kinds of problems might this present for Coolidge? Think about the way people generally act.  At that point, I would be looking for responses about people trying to take advantage of Coolidge in some way. This is essential questioning off of a topic.
  7. 7. Site 3 – Filling The Tool Box  One thing is clear. There are a lot of tools in the box. Perhaps too many. Way too many to look over here for sure. So I am going to highlight a couple from each part that seemed particularly interesting to me.  PART ONE  The questioning homework was a great idea. Sending students home every night with a question to answer building on the next day could be very effective. All of the other suggestions are great as well. Having to find the unanswerable questions, or one that takes at least 10 minutes of though etc, are all great ideas.
  8. 8. Tool Box Continued  The five minute question also poses good strategies. As I mentioned when talking about the last site, many teachers ask too many simple non thinking questions. Forcing students to consider deeper questions is a great idea.  PART TWO  The section that discusses asking essential questions of theatre or musical performers related to evaluating their performance is great. As a theatre director, I can see much application for this. A lot of performers would not like it much though!  The other item I found here that stood out were the test taking strategies. So many students struggle with tests simply because they do not read the questions right or think about what is being asked. This would solve that problem if teachers would hammer home these methods.
  9. 9. In Summary There was clear a wealth of information throughout these sites, as well as the additional ones I decided not to review. I think the overall point is, ASK GOOD QUESTIONS. In a way, having to review all of this material kind of defeats the purpose it is trying to shoot for. That is, there is no way anyone going through all this is going to retain more than a little of it. There is too much fluff and it is too dense. But I get the point, and hopefully, people viewing this do as well.