Enquiry questions that both chime and resonate

By Hugh Richards, published 11th July 2019

Ringing the changes: the power of enquiry questions that both chime and resonate

Ruth Lingard (@YorkCLIO) has a lovely way of thinking about enquiry questions. She describes them in terms of church bells. There are those that chime, reverberate and resonate by building intrigue and a lasting impression. However, there are also those that thud and clunk, not quite hitting the mark and leaving a wake of slight dissatisfaction, or don’t produce the intended learning. As I put this list together, Ed Durbin commented that “straightforward historically rigorous questions have more resonance,” and there is a lot of wisdom in that.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of using enquiry questions to structure your curriculum is that they can engage students in an academically rigorous way. The following explores these useful devices by showing how they can play different functions. Above all else, they make learning hold together and give meaning and shape to the process of studying and constructing history...

(This article first appeared in the One Big History Department blog)