greatest novels, the greatest plays, the greatest songs and the greatest
paintings all explore Essential Questions in some manner.
Essential Questions are at the heart
of the search for Truth.
These are questions which touch our hearts
They are central to our lives.
They help to define what it means to be
Most important thought during our lives will
centre on such essential questions.
Questions probe the deepest issues confronting us . . . complex and baffling
matters which elude simple answers: Life - Death - Marriage - Identity -
Purpose - Betrayal - Honour - Integrity - Courage - Temptation - Faith -
Leadership - Addiction - Invention - Inspiration.
does it mean to be a good friend?
what extent is it important to have a dream?
do I cope with the loss of a friend?
morality lie in obedience to rules or consideration for the needs of
is my responsibility to the community?
- To what extent does society have the right to
intervene to save people from themselves?
- To what extent does the community bear
responsibility for the individual?
- Are human beings innately evil or is it
something we learn in school?
questions spark our curiosity and sense of wonder. They derive from some deep
wish to understand something which matters to us.
questions reside at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy (Bloom, 1954).
They require that you
- EVALUATE (make a thoughtful choice
between options, with the choice based upon clearly stated criteria),
- SYNTHESIZE (invent a new or different
- ANALYZE (develop a thorough and
complex understanding through skillful questioning).
to essential questions cannot be found. They must be invented.
such questions may take a lifetime, and even then, the answers may only be
As Salman Rushdie reminds us, “[the novel] tells us
there are no answers; or, rather, it tells us that answers are easier to come
by, and less reliable, than questions...great literature, by asking
extraordinary questions, opens new doors in our minds.”
adapted from http://www.fno.org/nov97/toolkit.html#anchor173647