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Essential Questions

“Education should strive to develop and deepen students’ understanding of important ideas and processes so that they can transfer their learning within and outside school.”  They speak to unpacking the content and that the unpacking requires essential questions.

Essential questions should be:

1.important and timeless – broad in scope and universal by nature.

2. foundational – key inquiries within a discipline/ big ideas of a subject/technical knowledge

3. what is vital or necessary for personal understanding – helps students make sense of isolated facts or abstract ideas and strategies.


Understanding by Design (McTighe & Wiggins, 2004, Wiggins & McTighe, 2005,2007,2011,2012), On page five of Essential questions they provide three overlapping meanings for the development of essential questions:



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