Have you ever been in meetings where the chairperson seems to have some kind of mind control over everyone there? Yes, you say? Well then. Allow me set a bit of a scene for you.
There are a bunch of Real Live Adults (the kind who seem to know what they’re talking about) with carefully coifed hair sitting around a huge oak table in power suits. They come into the meeting with a ton of objections to whatever agenda the chairperson is pushing. Those objections seem valid and the way these Real Live Adults spin their point of view is convincing. The Real Live Adults seem to be winning the day when the Chairperson cuts in with a few pointed questions…essential questions, that is.
What is an essential question? Essential questions are open ended, engage the intellect, make you use your thinker, they are transferrable to other disciplines, and they usually stimulate other questions (McTighe & Wiggins, 2013).
So, next time you’re in one of those uncomfortable meetings where everyone has an ego and a goal, ask some essential questions to up the ante on the mindset and remind everyone why they are actually there. To solve problems and move forward.
McTighe, J. and, & Wiggins, G. (2013). Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding. Alexandria: ASCD.