This TIP will assist you to become familiar with principles and techniques on questioning and answering.
What's in a question, you ask? Everything. It is a way of evoking stimulating response or stultifying inquiry. It is, in essence, the very core of teaching.
John Dewey (1933)
The art of questioning is arguably one of the most important skills for teachers to develop. When employed thoughtfully, questions can become an effective teaching strategy.
A timely, well-phrased question can stimulate and deepen thinking, enable you to assess students' progress, check on your clarity, motivate students, maintain control, or emphasise key points.
But good questioning is not always something that comes naturally. The ability to develop adequate or even excellent questioning skills can be learned if some attention and practice is given to it.
NOTE: Adapted from the University of Melbourne, Generating Engagement and Participation
Use this TIP to find out more on successful questioning techniques such as building confidence and silence and wait time.
Whilst you watch the video, consider the following questions:
- How would you deal with incorrect responses in whole class discussions?
- Do your questions emphasise understanding or only quick, correct answers?
- How long do you wait for students to respond? Is your wait time different for high and low achievers?
- List potential advantages of open-ended questions.
- How could teachers’ questions assist students in developing meaningful understanding?
- Role-play a sequence of oral questions that you will use to lead a productive discussion.
- How do written and oral questions differ?
- What is meant by saying that questions should be asked not only to assess student understanding but also to advance learning?
Give examples of questions useful for:
- Probing students' understanding
- Stimulate problem-solving
- Diagnose misunderstandings and misconceptions
- Engage students in predicting/explaining
- Arousing motivation
- Recalling/reviewing information