PASSIONATING THE ART OF QUESTIONING
LEA M. BASCO
Questioning is imperative in any classroom, but how it looks in a classroom varies depending on the content area, teacher, and students. Therefore, teachers need to find the appropriate questioning techniques for their classrooms. According to Richards Mayer “Questioning is a strategy which is essential on how students will learn’. Likewise, Mayer emphasized that students must select, organize, and integrate the material. Prior knowledge plays a crucial role in this process. In their respective books, both John Bransford and Mayer explain that students need to construct their own knowledge in order for meaningful learning to occur. Through selection, organization, and integration, students make connections between their prior knowledge and new learning. This process needs to be respected and considered when planning instruction. For students to construct their own knowledge, effective and well-planned questioning strategies are cr u ci al
Good questioning techniques have long being regarded as a fundamental tool of effective teachers. Unfortunately, research shows that 93% of teacher questions are “lower order” knowledge based questions focusing on recall of facts (Daines, 1986). Clearly this is not the right type of questioning to stimulate the mathematical thinking that can arise from engagement in open problems and investigations.
Many Primary teachers have already developed considerable skill in good questioning in curriculum areas such as Literacy and History and social studies, but do not transfer these skills to real life situations.
Teachers’instincts often tell them that they should use investigational situation in their teaching, but most of a time the results were disappointed. There are two common reasons for this. One is that the children are inexperienced in this approach and find it difficult to accept responsibility for the decision making required and need a lot of practice to develop, organize a systematic approaches. The other reason is that the teachers have yet to develop a questioning style that guides, supports and stimulates the students without removing the responsibility for problem-solving process from the students.
Students must communicate their thoughts and reasoning, often clarifying and making sense of the topics while doing so. The teacher’s role is to help the student make them to real world connections, to help them see, and to make sense of the concept. Questioning techniques help do this.
Teachers should ask questions that promote higher-level thinking. This does not mean that the teacher should not be asking questions at the lower end of Bloom’s Taxonomy of cognitive rigor. In fact, it is important that a teacher begins a lesson with questions at the recall and understand levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. However, in order to solve meaningful problems, students must be challenged with higher level questions that follow the lower-level questions.
Students will find difficulty applying their ideas of analysing every situation if they were not exposed to higher-level questions in classroom activities and discussions.
The author is SST I at Atlu Bola High School, Division of Mabalacat Ci t y