Fertile questions are questions that are deep, complex, and perfect for inquiry. Because they are rich, finding answers to them requires research and can take some time. Find out how to use these questions with your students.
Characteristics of fertile questions
Fertile questions have some or most of the following characteristics:
Open — they have no one, definitive answer but rather several different and possibly competing answers.
Undermining — they cast doubt on individual assumptions or ‘common sense’.
Rich — they require research and grappling with information and ideas.
Connected — they are relevant to the learners and the world in which they live, and particular disciplines and fields.
Charged — they have an ethical dimension with emotional, social and/or political implications.
Practical — they are researchable within the world of the student.
The fertile questions model was developed by Yoram Harpaz and Adam Lefstein.