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Essential Questions: Opening Doors to…

Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding

by Jay McTighe

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When I heard Jay McTighe give an hour’s presentation about this new book, he gave several quizzes to the audience asking them to recognize the difference between and essential question and one that is not. So here is your test. Which of the following are essential questions and which are not:
1. What common artistic symbols were used by the Incas and the Mayans?
2. What key events sparked World War I?
3. Is there ever a “just” war?
4. What steps did you follow to get your answer?
5. Who is a true friend?
6. What are common Spanish colloquialisms?
If you chose questions three and five, you have the idea of essential questions. Questioning is a central element of inquiry both at the beginning of an investigation and at every step through the entire process. In this book, the authors, demonstrate time and again how to construct the essential question with students and for students and then how to follow through to deepen the understanding and skill that the teacher dreams about for every learner at the beginning of every learning experience. This is an easy book to read and follow with a ton of examples and is one of the best books of the year. We also recommend Carol Koechlin and Sandi Zwan’s book: Q Tasks.
  davidloertscher | May 13, 2014 |
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