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LM_NET  September 2016

LM_NET September 2016

Subject:

October Question Mark - Essential Questions vs. Questions of Import

From:

Jamieson McKenzie <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jamieson McKenzie <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 10:06:45 -0600

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text/plain

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text/plain (44 lines)

The Question Mark
Vol 13|No1|October |2016

—— Essential Questions vs. Questions of Import -----
by Jamie McKenzie 

Grant Wiggins' (1950–2015) invention of essential questions while working with the Coalition of Essential Schools in the 1980s was one of the most powerful contributions to curriculum design in the previous century and continues to have great significance today for those schools hoping to engage students in powerful thinking and exploration. These questions often kindle curiosity and provide the driving force for a unit lasting several weeks or months. When first introduced by the Coalition, a single question might serve to organize learning for an entire year.

"What makes people want to explore?"

In some schools, enthusiastic administrators pushed teachers to incorporate essential questions into daily lessons in ways that trivialized them. After working with teachers and librarians in one district suffering from this affliction, I came up with the concept of "questions of import" to capture the idea of questions that fell below the exalted level of importance expected for essential questions. These questions may serve well to drive learning during a single class or a week of study, and sometimes a group might wrestle with a half dozen questions of import during a single period.

This article will provide examples of each type of question and define them in ways that make them user friendly for classroom teachers.

Continued at http://questioning.org/oct2016/essentialQ.html

Jamie McKenzie
Editor
From Now On - http://fno.org
The Question Mark - http://questioning.org
817 17th St. Suite 9011
Denver, CO 80202
303-653-5650

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