In a recent presentation at the Nassau Reading Council/Long Island Language Arts Council Spring Conference 2012, Kate Gerson, Senior Fellow with the Regents Research Fund in New York, spoke in depth about text-based questions and the need for close readings of text.
explained, "A good question is one that allows you to stay with the text."
To give context to her assertion, Kate
invited the educators in the audience to explore the impact of text-based questions by sharing a series of questions about Abraham Lincoln's TheGettysburg Address.
So I asked Kate
to clarify the thinking behind this question because to me, while it is based on the text, it seemed rooted in background knowledge that some readers may bring to the text, but others may not.
felt that this question lent itself to a rich discussion about Lincoln's intentional choice to refer to this historical event-and that's when I thought again about Kate's words, "A good question is one that allows you to stay with the text.
To add to Kate's comment "A good question is one that allows you to stay with the text," I would say, too, that a "good" question is borne in the company of colleagues and unless we are working collaboratively with others to develop "good" questions, we may find we aren't asking the questions we intended.