How do we remember and why do we forget?
If long term memories aren’t made until we are older, why do events that occur during infancy affect us later in life?
How are emotions stored in the physical body?
What makes human self-conscious?
What would happen if you never, ever made any memories?
Why does a smell evoke a memory?
Why do we remember some things but not others?
Sugata Mitra, founder of School in the Cloud, posed an intriguing question on You Tube: How do we remember and why do we forget? His question was more than just a question. It was a Big Question, and it kicked off Skype in the Classroom’s Big Question Challenge in 2015 — an opportunity for select educators around the world to submit their own Big Question videos which students then answered by forming SOLEs.
Rebekah Davis, a teacher in North Carolina, says her students used self-organized learning to answer Sugata’s Big Question and “surprised themselves with how much they were able to learn in such a short amount of time.” Here’s some of their results:
Elisa Farrell, a third grade teacher outside of Dallas, Texas says her students used SOLEs to answer Sugata’s question as well. “We’ve had research lessons before,” she says, “but seeing their approach to this question (being deliberately hands-off!) was a good eye-opener on future topics to cover.”
Some of those future topics Elisa mentions could be created by you, or your students!
There’s also further inspiration for Big Questions from Sage Franch:
Or this one from Mark Wood: