Questions, Not Answers

Inspired by Eric Mazur, Harvard University

Have students work collaboratively to develop and generate deep, meaningful questions around a topic they’ve studied in your class this year. Students share their questions with the class. Then, students work in small teams to consolidate and prioritize on what they view as the most insightful questions, and report out to the class with what they selected, and why.

Set Up:

Provide time and various exercises to help your students create questions around these topics of study. Have students add and populate their questions in a gallery walk setup around the room. Students can see other questions generated, as well as build upon their curiosities.

Bigger Bites:

  • Each group prioritizes on their best questions, lays out their criteria for “what makes for a great question,” addresses the issue of the relative importance of questions versus answers in a world with Google, and presents their findings to the rest of the class.
  • Make this a daily practice.
  • Have students develop test questions (based on their learnings around what makes a ‘meaningful’ question) for their next exam, discussion, or Socratic Seminar.