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In short, expert knowledge is the result of inquiry, argument, and difference of opinion; the best questions point to hard-won big ideas that we want learners to come to understand.
It is also through the process of actively "interrogating" the content using provocative questions that students strengthen and deepen their understanding.
For instance, a regular consideration of the question "How are stories from different places and times about me?
In other words, we are liable to change our minds in response to reflection, different views, and rich experience concerning such questions as we go through life—and such changes of mind are not only expected but beneficial.
A good education is grounded in such lifelong questions, even if we sometimes lose sight of them while focusing on content mastery.
The exercise has three parts, as explained in the next several paragraphs.
First, examine the questions in the two columns and try to determine the distinguishing characteristics of the ones labeled "Essential" compared to those labeled "Not Essential." What traits do the essential questions have in common? Second, look at these additional examples, organized by subject area, to spark your thinking and clarify the qualities of essential questions, or EQs.If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” ~Albert Einstein An essential question asks about something that you can prove with evidence. An essential question should be the product of your own critical thinking and some background reading.Teachers regularly pose questions to their students, but the purpose and form of these questions can vary widely." serves as a launch pad for examining big ideas in statistics and science, such as sampling variables, predictive validity, degrees of confidence, and correlation versus causality.At a practical level, think of targeted understandings and essential questions as the flip sides of the same coin.For example, if a content standard calls for students to learn about the three branches of government, then questions such as "When does a government overstep its authority?" or "How might we guard against governmental abuses of power?This book is about a particular kind of question—one we call "essential." So, what makes a question "essential"?Let us begin by engaging you in a bit of inquiry using the following concept-attainment exercise to examine the characteristics of an essential question.Essential Questions in History and Social Studies As a result of comparing essential and nonessential questions and studying the additional examples, you should now have an idea of what makes a question "essential." Here are seven defining characteristics.A good essential question How does your working definition compare?