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Effective questioning involves all students and engages students in thinking for themselves.
- reinforces and revisits learning objectives/goals
- shows connections between previous and new learning
- gives the teacher immediate feedback on students’ understanding, which they can then use to modify their teaching
- includes ‘staging’ questions to draw students towards key understanding or to increase the level of challenge in a lesson as it proceeds
- helps students develop their thinking from the lower order concrete and factual recall type to the higher order analytical, conceptual and evaluative which promote deeper understanding
- promotes justification and reasoning
- encourages students to speculate and hypothesise
- can support students to draw inferences
- keeps students focussed on the salient elements in a lesson and not on extraneous matters
- encourages students to ask as well as to ‘receive’ questions
- encourages students to listen and respond to each other as well as to the teacher
- creates an atmosphere of trust where students’ opinions and ideas are valued and where teacher praise can be connected directly to their responses.
Access: Effective Questioning
"The Importance of Questioning in Developing Critical Thinking Skills" by Judith S. Napp
Asking the right probing questions is key to getting the right answers. So take a look at some effective questioning techniques.
Effective questioning sessions in classroom require advance preparation. While some instructors may be skilled in extemporaneous questioning, many find that such questions have phrasing problems, are not organized in a logical sequence, or do not require students to use the desired thinking skills.
Access: Questioning Strategies
This guide provides the strengths and weaknesses of questions in the classroom.
Questions are an integral part of classroom life and essential to every teacher’s pedagogical repertoire. They are also one of the elements of effective formative assessment (Black et al., 2003). Questioning serves many purposes: it engages students in the learning process and provides opportunities for students to ask questions themselves. It challenges levels of thinking and informs whether students are ready to progress with their learning. Questions that probe for deeper meaning foster critical thinking skills and higher-order capabilities such as problem solving, and encourage the types of flexible learners and critical thinkers needed in the 21st century.
A summary of the six types of Socratic questioning is provided as are sample questions.
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Intel Teach provides information on uses of Socratic questioning in the classroom.
Access: Socratic Questioning
George Couros, the author of "The Innovator's Mindset," "Innovate Inside the Box," and "Because of a Teacher!" shares his insight on asking better questions.