McTighe and Wiggins (Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding. Alexandria: ASCD, 2013, p. 17) outline several reasons why essential questions are so powerful. They:
- Signal that inquiry is a key goal of education.
- Make it more likely that the unit will be intellectually engaging
- Help to clarify and prioritize standards for teachers.
- Provide transparency for students.
- Encourage and model metacognition for students.
- Provide opportunities for intra and interdisciplinary connections.
- Support meaningful differentiation.
Essential questions allow students to connect to the content.