Season 3: Episode 4 – Now That’s a Good Question: How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Questioning with Erik Francis [Podcast]

In this episode, we are speaking with Erik Francis, author of Now That’s a Good Question: How to Promote Cognitive Rigor Through Questioning.

Erik is the owner and lead professional education specialist for Maverik Education LLC, providing professional development, guidance, and support in teaching and learning for cognitive rigor. He works closely with K–12 schools across the nation developing active and authentic teaching and learning experiences that address the cognitive rigor of college and career ready standards by challenging and engaging students to demonstrate higher-order thinking and communicate depth of knowledge.
Erik has been an educator for more than 20 years, working as a middle and high school English language arts and math teacher, a site administrator, and an education program specialist in the Title I unit of a state education agency. He is also a featured presenter for the Education Development and Support Program offered through Grand Canyon University.

Here is what we talked about:

  • Tell us about the big question behind Now That’s a Good Question.
  • In your book, you share eight different kinds of questions that challenge students to demonstrate higher-order thinking, communicate depth of knowledge and promote cognitive rigor.  Can you highlight a few of those kinds of questions?
  • We often talk about essential questions with our teachers. What makes a good essential question?
  • We recently redefined our vision, and we are focusing on developing the 4Cs in our students. In chapter 4, you talk about how good analytical questions deepen knowledge and thinking.  Share with us what an analytical question is and how it can promote critical thinking?
  • What are argumentative questions which address choices, claims, and controversies and how can they promote decision-making and problem-solving?
  • Another one of the 4Cs is creativity. What are hypothetical questions, and how can they be used to pique curiosity and creativity?
  • Why is it important for teachers to reflect on the types of questions they and their students use in order to promote cognitive rigor?
  • You conclude your book by giving teachers six ways to encourage students to address and respond to good questions. Highlight a couple of those strategies for us?

Join in the conversation!

Each episode we’ll leave you with a question or two to think about with the idea of provoking conversation.

This week’s question:

  1. What can you do tomorrow to upgrade your questioning strategies that promote cognitive rigor?

You can join the conversation by leaving a comment below or by using the hashtag #TLTalkRadio on Twitter.

Explore Additional Resources:

In this episode, we provided many resources pertaining to Erik’s work.  Additional information available at:

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