Some say “Essential“
Some say “Compelling”
Others say “Open-Ended”
I say “Big Questions” recaptures the spirit of the Socrates in a comprehensive way. Though Socrates made asking questions seem deceptively simple, it’s actually a complex process. Here are a few criteria to creating the kinds of deep questions that lead to incredible conversations.
Why would people work hard if there were no rewards or consequences?
Can one ever truly be happy?
All my life I’ve been fascinated with questions. The fascination intensified in college as a political science and philosophy major when I read about Socrates who, as history tells us, made a living walking around asking people questions. His questions were penetrating, inspired multiple perspectives of understanding and often left his conversation partners scratching their heads in confusion. Rather than assume he knew the truth, Socrates humbly revealed the ignorance of others, and paid the ultimate penalty.With Socrates as a model, questioning became a lifelong addiction and teaching became the ideal treatment for this addiction. In the classroom my core energies are centered around how to use questions to increase a student’s capacity to wonder, handle complicated issues and tolerate diverse views. I consider these outcomes to be hallmarks of a great education.