September 3, 2014
After learning about the five tips to help you provide students with effective feedback, today I am sharing with you some equally important tips for formulating good learning-inducing questions in class. The art of question asking usually takes some years of practice and experience to master. However, developing an early awareness of the importance of good questions in classroom teaching is the first step towards building an inquiry-based learning environment where students are encouraged to ask questions and engage in dialogical exchange of information.
So what are the “good” questions that lead to effective learning? In fact, there is no absolute answer to this question as it depends on your teaching/learning situation but holistically speaking, there is a fundamental set of questions that pave the way for reflective, critical and deep learning. These are the strategic questions every teacher should be aware of and should use intermittently during class instruction. The purpose of these questions is twofold: first they can lead students in their learning journey and second, they help them pause and reflect and formulate questions of their own.
Rebecca Alber, from Edutopia, has recently published a great read in this direction. Her article “5 powerful questions teachers can ask students” provides some enlightening tips on the type of questions ideal for leading an inquiry-based learning classroom. Below is an excellent graphic that features these five questions.
The five questions Rebecca talked about are:
- What do you think?
- Why do you think that ?
- How do know this?
- Can you tell me more?
- What questions do you still have?