Open Ended Questions for Student Exploration and Research - March 10, 2012
Kofi Donnelly, The A. J. Heschel High School (Upper West Side, Manhattan)
The goal of this workshop is two-fold:
1. To share examples of open-ended questions
2. To discuss best practices for implementation of open-ended questionsThere may be various definitions of open-ended questions out there. I’m using the term to mean a question that is not clearly defined. The students are asked to solve a problem, but there is not much given information, or it is not immediately clear what information is relevant and what is not. Students may be encouraged to conduct some basic research about parameters related to the problem.
The workshop will start with teachers in “student-mode” trying to solve an open-ended question that I developed after a student-faculty soccer game last year! Teachers will work in groups to solve the problem.
After a predetermined time period, we will come back together as a group to (a) discuss the solution (or solutions) to the problem and (b) to share the process that we went through to solve this particular problem as a model for thinking about how to scaffold open-ended questions in general.
After this, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences in assigning open-ended questions (things that worked, things that didn’t), as well as specific examples of open-ended questions to disseminate to the group.