HOW STRONG IS MY FOCUS QUESTION?
Kids are asking questions all the time. They’re wondering things everyday, or at least they should be. Today, at UN-PD someone said “Kids don’t ask questions because they are taught to not ask questions.” and that’s not okay. After looking at Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner’s work on Teaching and Questions I started to think about Senior Projects at the iSchool. Are my seniors asking good questions? Are we helping them discover their questions thoughtfully? So I spent our work time jumping off of Postman and Weingartner’s list and creating a list of 10 yes or no questions for the students to ask themselves about their draft focus question. The stronger the question is, the more YES answers there will be- hopefully there will be at least 8 or 9 YESs!
What is your DRAFT focus question?
Answer the following questions about your focus question:
- Will you enjoy the work required to learn enough to answer your question? YES or NO
- Will you need to ask more little questions to answer your focus question? YES or NO
- Will your question inspire you and others to think? YES or NO
- Will you be excited to teach other people about what you’ve learned about your question? YES or NO
- Does your question require extensive research and synthesis? YES or NO
- Does you question allow for multiple or alternative answers? YES or NO
- Will you be frustrated during the process of answering your question? YES or NO
- Will you remember what you’ve learned about your question in twenty years? YES or NO
- Will different people react to or interpret your question in multiple ways? YES or NO
- Will you be proud of your work and yourself at the end of this process? YES or NO
Number of YES answers:______ Number of NO answers:________
Explain any of your NO answers: