What makes a good question?

What makes a good question?

This weeks EMTH class we talked about questioning. There are many reasons to question, you can assess the students, you can find out any prior knowledge that they may have, differentiate instruction and you can understand the way the students think. Along with different reasons to question there is variety of different types of questions. You can ask simple yes or no, reflective/discussion, “get to know you”, open-ended and much, much more.

In an inquiry classroom, questioning is an important factor to make it run smoothly. Without good questioning in an inquiry based approach than you risk the fact that students will become uninterested and/or unengaged in the lesson. Questioning requires students to dig deeper and not just scratch the surface. Open-ended questions are the best type of questions for an inquiry approach. They allow students to take control of their own learning and come to conclusions themselves. But the problem with open-ended questions is that it can be a lot of work for the teacher, especially in the beginning when he/she may not have much experience. As teachers gain more experience they have the ability to think better on their feet. I think that thinking on you feet is something you learn and that the more experience you have the better you get at it.

In inquiry based lesson you want the students to be able to come to decisions themselves. When students are allowed to learn on their own they are able to relate it to their personal life and have a better understanding of it. When it comes to students taking control of their learning you risk the chance that the students will have a question for you, but you don’t want to just give them the answer. You have to create leading questions for students that guide them in direction that they need to go however you have to balance between being too vague that they still don’t understand and being too descriptive that they don’t have to do any additional research. This helps students when they are stuck but doesn’t give them the answer.

Teachers ask 43.7 questions per hour but only 3.6 are high order. If we can increase the amount of high order questions we ask we can help students learn better, which is the goal for every teacher.


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