Methods of Teaching scienceØ QUESTIONING TECHNIQUE
M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Assistant professor in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
"Good learning starts with questions, not answers"
Questioning consumes a considerable proportion of time in classrooms. Interest in questioning as an instructional tool can be traced back to the fourth century as evidenced in the Socratic dialogues recorded by Plato.
In the 21st century, teachers use questions to manage student behavior and classroom activities, to promote students' inquiry and thinking, and to assess students' knowledge or understanding. Questioning enables teachers to check learners' understanding. It also benefits learners as it encourages engagement and focuses their thinking on key concepts and ideas. Questioning actively encourages the development of thinking and dialogue skills.
Questioning can serve at least 5 distinct purposes in effective classrooms.
1. To guide students toward understanding when introducing material.
2. To guide students to do a greater share of the thinking.
3. To remediate an error.
4. To stretch or motivating students.
5. To check for understanding (Evaluation purpose).
In questioning technique teachers uses questions as a tool to promote inquiry, thinking, and ultimately learning.
An effective question must involve the following techniques
1) Redirection: This involves the framing of a single question for which there are many possible responses from the students. Redirection is possible only in the case of high order, divergent questions.
Example: At the end of this unit Halogens, which do you think is the most useful one? ………….Why?
2) Prompting: This technique involves the use of hints or clues which are used to aid the student in responding correctly. This is required when a student is asked a question and he fails to reply or response correctly.
3) Probing: This technique is used when the students reply is correct but insufficient because it lacks depth. This helps to process information.
Thumb rules of effective questioning
A few general rules of thumb for designing effective questions are:
1) One at a Time: Have only one question in the question.
2) Simple to Complex: Ask questions that progress from simple to complex.
3) Clear and Concise: The questions should be clear and Concise
4) Start with a question word. (who, when, what, where, why, how)
5) Ask an actual question.
6) Assume the answer. (Ask, “Who can tell me…,” not, “Can anyone tell me…”
7) Stock Questions: Ask one sequence of questions in a row. Ask versions of the same question.
8) Break it down: Break complex questions to simple, one after the other.