The foundation of learning is questioning. A good question can be the most effective way to help students grow. It’s also the most powerful tool for teachers to teach.
With great questioning, new ideas, viewpoints, and understandings can be developed. A good question can stir, enthuse, and provoke children to a newly gained skill, deeper understanding, or a new viewpoint.
Good questions sought to:
1. Motivate students and generate curiosity.
2. Boost intellectual development and enhance critical thinking in the classroom.
3. Shape a positive learning environment.
Here are the three topmost effective ways in which you can develop your questioning skills in your day-to-day practice.
1. Use The Question Matrix!
First, understand the types of questions that can be asked. The question matrix is an interesting tool which helps to understand how different levels of questions should be asked for different types of information.
For this, you must ask yourself the purpose of the question you’re asking. As a teacher, if you want a student to be open minded and develop their own critical thinking, you need to ask questions in an imaginative style.
Teachers can even stick the matrix around the classroom so both teachers and the children could have a useful questioning resource.
2. Become More Self Aware!
A lot of studies have found that almost ninety percent of the questions asked in the classroom either by teachers or by students tend to focus on redundant questions and unproductive discussions.
As a teacher, you might not be aware of your over-reliance on low level questioning, and the same can be said about the students. It’s therefore important to record the type of questions you are asking in class.
This could be done by making videos or voice recordings or with help of colleagues. You can also categorise the types of questions to be asked in the classroom, to see where you generally tend to ask low level questions.
3. Ask in different ways!
Great questioning doesn’t always mean what kind of question you have asked in the classroom but how well the others have received your question. Phrasing, tone, word choice and other factors, all play a significant role in helping students develop their understanding.
Word Choice - Some questions can be more demanding than others that may cause panic among student’s children. Additionally, by adding a polite tone in your questions, as a teacher you’ll grow, and you will also make students lose the fear of failure. This will help them grow as a student and you as a teacher exponentially.
Direct/Indirect – When you start asking questions directly to the students, it will allow them to share their understanding, their take on whatever you have taught them and that without hesitation. Try to ask the question in the classroom and then pinpoint the students for their thoughts, which will provide them a little breathing space to flourish.
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