Hello, this question is primarily for Elizabeth – if you see this post!
I am listening to your webinar again from the link Bev sent. When you talk about Investigate, you say that a “googleable question” is not a good question; could you please give an example of a googleable question and the rephrased question, or an alternative question that is non-googlable please?
I won’t answer for Elizabeth, but happen to be at my computer.
The basic difference is between a question that is simple to answer, where the emphasis is on finding the ‘right’ information, and a complex question, where the emphasis is on building (constructing) knowledge and understanding from information drawn from different sources.
For example, from an earlier iteration of our Year 9 Inquiry Skills Project, “How accurate is the Doomsday Clock?” rather than “What is the Doomsday Clock?”. The latter question leads almost certainly to information on Wikipedia about the Doomsday Clock directly via Google, which is not necessarily a problem, but is a poor inquiry question because it requires no thought and/ or understanding. The former question requires both thought and understanding, which the inquiry needs to support, both in terms of process and resources, and which, crucially, is what the inquiry is aimed at and needs to assess.
This is deeply linked with the question that you asked about inquiry and constructivism, which requires a fuller response, and which I am working on.
I am sorry I have not responded before now. I have only just seen your question and am pleased that Darryl has done a great job in answering for me. I would have said roughly the same that a ‘googlable’ question is one that takes no thought and creates the opportunity to cut and paste. Whereas a non-googlable question needs thinking about.
Creating a good question is something that I find extremely difficult too so please don’t feel disheartened. I find that this forum is a great place to share your question ideas and get support so as long as you have a starting point it can be shaped. When I talk to teachers about this there is an assumption that adults can think of great questions and our students should be able to do this too but it really is difficult and needs practice. Many teachers get frustrated at the poor questions that their students come up with but ask them to do the same they find that they struggle too…
Hello Elizabeth, thank you very much for your reply. The TED talk is very interesting.
I am pleased to say that I have always worked in settings where good questioning was encouraged: asking questions to work out *how* the student knows, how they are thinking, to support higher level thinking. My last school was very keen on Bloom’s Taxonomy and we had to show what we were doing to move children’s thinking to higher levels.
My fascination with critical thinking dates back to 1996 when, as part of my degree, I took a foundation module entitled “Theory and Society”. We did not use the word “critical thinking” then. The learning outcomes included: “understand the distinctions drawn between fact, opinion and value judgement; and between a line of argument, its assumptions and the evidence use to support it – both within academic discussion and other forms of discourse; understand the various ground rules and conventions that shape social scientific theory-building and research and know how to begin to assess the quality of the knowledge claims generated within the social sciences; identify different modes of reasoning and arriving at defensible conclusions; and identify what makes some ways of presenting argument and evidence seem more compelling than others.
I can honestly say that doing this module changed my way of reasoning and understanding what I read in the news etc.
My problem at the moment is that I am practising on the King Alfred the Great paper and… I am not making any progress. I thought it would be easy but I just cannot move on from Connect. (I have posted separately about this).
Anyway, thank you very much for all the replies. It is all stimulating.