Essential questions help students bring attention, focus, and analytical thought too great ideas through the thorough examination of ideas using Socratic inquiry. Essential questions build critical thinking because they are unanswerable without the ability to use logic, background understanding, discernment, and judgment.
Essential questions can be examined from two points of view:
- Teachers point of view: What should the student learn, know, understand, and be able to do?
- Students point of view: What does the student want to learn, know, understand, and be able to do?
- Consider the big picture goals of developing happy, curious, passionate erudite students, always ask, "does the curriculum expectations coincide with the big picture goals?
- Essential question focus on the "big ideas" (experiences, principles, theories, concepts, point of views, or themes)
After seventeen years of teaching, I am always inspired by my
students, especially my passionate special needs students. I am always seeking better ways to teach and reach my students, I want to find better ways to inspire curiosity and passion in students that have given up, shut down, or opted out. One constant the last seventeen years of teaching is my "average intelligence" or "special education students" with great passion and curiosity always outperform my "gifted students" that are not as passionate! We can either flame or extinguish a student's desires by our pedagogical philosophy and curriculum delivery. High-stress test and punish accountability is the norm in today's schools! We are at risk of killing passion and curiosity in many of our students that have lost faith in school.
Teaching children how to learn, solve problems, ask questions, and the lost art of critical thinking is more important today than what they learn. Developing resilience, resourcefulness, curiosity, and passion has become harder today with Common Core mandates and the feckless anodyne published curriculum.
Teaching with passion and curiosity starts with an essential question or a meditative philosophical quote that sparks curiosity and passion. When we ask the really interesting esoteric questions, we stimulate and provoke thought and curiosity. Creating a classroom where curiosity and passion is the norm, means letting the passion and curiosity inform students choices.
How do one's desires inspire curiosity?
How do one's desires inspire passion?
"Give me the kid with a passion for learning and a curiosity to discover and I will take him or her over the less passionate kid with a huge IQ every day of the week." Thomas L. Friedman
Cultivate your garden… Do not depend upon teachers to educate you … follow your own bent, pursue your curiosity bravely, express yourself, make your own harmony… In the end, education, like happiness, is individual, and must come to us from life and from ourselves. There is no way; each pilgrim must make his own path. "Happiness," said Chamfort, "is not easily won; it is hard to find it in ourselves, and impossible to find it elsewhere."--Will Durant
The whole art of teaching is the only art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards; and curiosity itself can be vivid and wholesome only in proportion as the mind is contented and happy Anatole France
Curiosity in children, is but an appetite for knowledge. The great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle away their time insipidly is, because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected. John Locke
[PDF]Essential Questions Handbook
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Essential questions reside at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy (Bloom, 1954). They require students ...Essential questions spark our curiosity and sense of wonder.
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Chapter 10 - Essential Questions. These are questions that touch our hearts and souls. They are central to our lives. They help to define what it means to be ..
Curiosity (from Latin cūriōsitās, from cūriōsus "careful, diligent, curious", akin to cura "care") is a quality related to inquisitive thinking such as exploration, investigation, and learning, evident by observation in humans.
The term curiosity can also be used to denote the behavior or emotion of being curious, in regard to the desire to gain knowledge or information. Curiosity as a behavior and emotion is attributed over millennia as the driving force behind not only human development, but developments in science, language, and industry.