Wide Open Questions: Unleashing the Power of Curiosity in an Agile Classroom | Jessica Cavallaro | 4 Min Read

April 24, 2023

Agile classrooms provide avenues for students to learn more than the mandated content. In the same time that one might dedicate to a teacher-focused unit, students are given the opportunity to immediately apply new knowledge to real-world situations. To facilitate this type of learning, the unit needs to be anchored by a Wide-Open Question (WOQ). A WOQ begins a unit that encourages students to explore new ideas and unique solutions to a problem. Unlike traditional content-based questions that seek a single “right” answer and therefore set students on identical learning paths, WOQs start with interrogative words like ‘Why’ or ‘How’ and are designed to be broad and open-ended. This allows students to bring their own interests and prior knowledge into the learning process. WOQs engage students in personalized learning and deepen their understanding of the content, as well as build skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. 

WOQs promote the type of learning that goes beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. Yes, the student must use new knowledge learned in class to try to solve the problem, but the complexity and uniqueness of the question ignite intrinsic learning. Students become engaged in answering the…

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Jessica Cavallaro

As the co-founder of The Agile Mind and Chief Academic Officer of a pioneering online high school, Jessica Cavallaro is a key player in the educational revolution, infusing K-12 learning with Agile methodologies. Her 15-year tenure in education has been marked by a dedication to crafting meaningful educational experiences that drive classroom innovation and foster inquisitiveness. Jessica is dedicated to creating systems that enhance student autonomy, ensuring that every learner's voice is heard and valued. Beyond her educational leadership, Jessica is an esteemed keynote speaker, spreading her vision for transformative education and the critical role of flexibility in learning.