Crafting powerful questions is an art. Powerful questions provoke. They provoke emotion, they provoke controversy and they provoke learning. Webster tells us that the root of “provoke” helps us understand the word’s essential meaning as “to call forth”. What are you calling forth with the questions you are crafting?
Powerful questions are
Open-ended-they leave space for the learner to fill in the blanks
Ambiguous-there is no right answer, no leading of the learner to some preconceived idea
Personal-linking the learner to their mental maps around the content
Tension-creating-causing the learner to recognize some gap, some opportunity that needs exploring, pushing the learner into discovery.
A less-than-powerful question skips reflection and moves into action: “How do we improve results?”
A powerful question leads the learner to reflect and dig deeper: “What is an “unspoken” truth, that if explored might lead us to improving results?”
Think about where the learner must go in each part of the learning process. Craft questions to lead the learner there.