Beautiful Questions in the Classroom

April 2020; paperback
152 pages | Corwin Press
ISBN 9781544365466

“What does it mean to learn? Most of us eventually realize that genuine learning is less about delivering the right answers and more about asking the right questions. That’s why BEAUTIFUL QUESTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM is so important. Inquiry develops self-direction and deepens curiosity. And in an age of automation, questioning is a uniquely human skill, one we should foster in school and in life. This book is an essential read for educators at every level.”

— Daniel H. Pink, author of When, Drive, and A Whole New Mind

“Warren Berger and Elise Foster maintain that the more questions children ask, the better questioners (and ultimately innovators) they become. This inspirational and highly practical book focuses on the why and how of creating “cultures of curiosity and inquiry” in our classrooms, where students (not teachers!) are the ones asking the questions, living the learning, making a difference for themselves, each other and the world.”

— Debbie Miller, author of What’s the Best That Could Happen? New Possibilities for Teachers & Readers 

“In this book, the “questionologist” Warren Berger and co-author Elise Foster show us why it’s so critical to encourage more student questions in class, particularly in today’s world. But they also show how to do that, with practical examples, exercises, and activities. The result is an inspirational call to action for educators everywhere.”

—Trevor Mackenzie, author of Inquiry Mindset

“Warren Berger and Elise Foster’s new book is a vibrant restorative effort, seeking to help us all recover the flood of questions typical of our 4 year-old neighbors. They ask us to think about the debilitating effects on our civic affairs and worklives of the mere trickle of questions asked by those same once curious explorers when they reach high school. The book documents and lays out in crisp, clear prose hopeful interventions that give us confidence that a revolutionary embrace of questioning is within our reach.”

— Neil Browne, author of Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking

“I celebrate the teacher who keeps the spark of curiosity alive in their classroom. And to be the change you want to see? No easy thing. Berger is a master “questionologist” and this book is an essential tool.”

— Michael Bungay Stanier, author of The Coaching Habit and The Advice Trap

“Warren Berger has already shown us brilliantly how questions can indeed ‘change the world’. In this book, Berger and Elise Foster provide schools and educators concrete ways to make questions and questioning an essential part of the learning experiences we design every day. In doing so, they offer us simple and elegant ways to change what we do as teachers, administrators, and students thereby improving our schools in fundamental ways.”

— Dominic A.A. Randolph, Head of School, Riverdale Country School

“Applying the compelling principles and practices in this book will profoundly transform how we show up as educators –– and leaders. Crucial reading for anyone committed to building the next generation of creative innovators at school or work.”

—Hal Gregersen, author of Questions are the Answer and senior lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“With engaging prose and compelling insights, Berger and Foster unravel the vexing puzzle of why our kids, who are born curious, grow less curious with each passing year they sit in our classrooms and schools. We know, of course, that curiosity drives all learning—and that at the heart of curiosity is questions. Yet as Berger and Foster demonstrate, the most important questions in the classroom aren’t teachers’ questions, but rather, students’ questions. With its many practical classroom examples and go-to strategies, I’d recommend all teachers have this book on their shelves—so they can return to it time and again to unleash their own curiosity and that of their students.”

—Bryan Goodwin, president and CEO, McREL International, author of Building a Curious School: Restore the Joy that Brought You to School

Who better than a journalist to guide us on the power of asking questions? Berger and Foster pull in expert testimony from various fields to share concrete ways we can help students of all ages lean into their curiosity through inquiry. This book is not only brimming with evidence-based practices but is beautifully-written and thoughtfully designed for the busy educator. This is my new ‘go to’ book for guiding students as questioners!

—Kimberly L. Mitchell, Founder, Inquiry Partners, author of Experience Inquiry: 5 Powerful Strategies, 50 Practical Experiences

The title of this brilliant book says it all. By the time you’ve finished, it you will understand why questioning is so critical in unleashing curiosity and inquiry – and you will have a rich toolkit to help you get there! This is a must read for those seeking to help young minds make sense of an increasingly complex world—by encouraging—and teaching them to question.

—Peter Gamwell, author of The Wonder Wall

“This book, this work, found me at a critical time in my career. I have long sought better ways to engage my kids in their learning. And I believe, now, I have found my next better in this book, a beautiful better that will transform me, my classroom, and ultimately my kids as they pursue their questions, their answers, their learning.”

—Monte Syrie, Teacher, Cheney High School

“Warren Berger’s book A More Beautiful Question is one of those books that I regularly pull off the shelf and dive into. It is lovingly marked up with post-its and several of my own questions scribbled in the margins. As an educator passionate about inquiry learning, it was thrilling to read the words of a journalist outside the field of education extolling the virtues of curiosity and wonder and to learn more about the way questions lead to innovation. Berger’s work certainly added fuel to my own fire. So it was with great delight to learn of his new offering: Beautiful Questions in the Classroom. This book is a rich and thorough contribution to the field. I am sure this will be another book by Warren Berger to which I will return over and over. It’s beautiful.”

— Kath Murdoch, Education Consultant and author of The Power of Inquiry

“The difference between a good teacher and a great teacher is the questions they ask. Beautiful Questions in the Classroom is a timely reminder that, beyond any content we might teach, the art of question posing is a gift that will serve students for the rest of their lives. This easy to read book provides useful, efficient strategies to cultivate curiosity in our classrooms and beyond”.

— Erik Burmeister, Superintendent, Menlo Park City Schools

“I want to read this over and over again! This is a book that EVERY teacher, regardless of their grade level or content area, should read if they want to see student learning transformed in their classrooms with JOY and EXCITEMENT! Questions matter!!”

— Karen Vogelsang, Tennessee Teacher of the Year