The Corson technique for asking questions


Thomas Frank  writes in his great study skills blog about the Solution Finder mindset: when you’re stuck, don’t hurry to ask other people for help, grapple with the problem for another 15 minutes. He also mentions a technique popularised by Corson, a professor of engineering and president of Cornell University: if you have a difficult text to read, do it one sentence at a time, and ask yourself: what is it exactly that I don’t understand? Then, and only then, can you go and talk to your professor 🙂

I think it’s a great idea for learner training: when we want to give adult learners more challenge, but don’t want them to complain that the lesson was too difficult for their level;  when we want to help our young learners develop perseverance, grit, growth mindset, whatever you call it. What do you think?


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