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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.

— oOo—

The au­thor is SST I at Atlu Bola High School, Di­vi­sion of Ma­bal­a­cat Ci t y

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