My students are working on a project where they pose a question having something to do with our class, and then try to find an essay published in a peer reviewed journal that helps them understand the question or an answer to some extent. They read and write an analysis of the essay. It's a stepping stone (see, I chose a different metaphor) along the way to other research.
We're talking through the questions now, and I'm struck again (as every time I've done this) by how often their questions feel very "fifties" to me, where "fifties" means that it feels critically old fashioned.
They tend to want to know if Hamlet is really crazy, for example, or if Lady Macbeth had kids. These aren't bad questions, but they feel out of step with questions most critics these days are asking and pursuing.
My goal is for them to be able to find a useful essay, so I help them modify and look for stuff, so things usually turn out okay.
Some of them are carrying over from high school questions, it seems.
Others, of course, are asking much more fun (from my point of view) questions.
What sorts of questions do your students ask? How do the questions change across course levels? (These are first and second year students, mostly, so they really are early in their development as college students.)