EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES OF QUESTIONING
- Plan key questions to provide structure and direction to the lesson. Spontaneous questions that emerge are fine, but the overall direction of the discussion has been largely planned. Example: a "predicting discussion" (Hyman, 1980)
- What are the essential features and conditions of this situation?
- Given this situation, what do you think will happen as a result of it?
- What facts and generalization support your prediction?
- What other things might happen as a result of this situation?
- If the predicted situation occurs, what will happen next?
- Based on the information and predictions before us, what are the probable consequences you now see?
- What will lead us from the current situation to the one you predicted?
- Phrase the questions clearly and specifically. Avoid vague and ambiguous questions.
- Adapt questions to the level of the students' abilities
- Ask questions logically and sequentially
- Ask questions at various levels
- Follow up on students' responses: A) Elicit longer, more meaningful and more frequent responses from students after an initial response by -
- Maintaining a deliberate silence
- Making a declarative statement
- Making a reflective statement giving a sense of what the students said
- Declaring perplexity over the response
- Inviting elaboration
- Encouraging other students to comment
- Give students time to think after they are questioned (Wait Time)
- The three most productive types of questions are variants of divergent thinking questions (Andrews, 1980):
1. The Playground Question
- Structured by instructor's disignating a carefully chosen aspect of the material (the "playground")
- "Let's see if we can make any generalizations about the play as a whole from the nature of the opening lines."
2. The Brainstorm Question
- Structure is thematic
- Generate as many ideas on a single topic as possible within a short period of time
- "What kinds of things is Hamlet questioning - not just in his soliloquy, but throughout the play?"
3. The Focal Question
- Focuses on a well articulated issue
- Choose among a limited number of positions or viewpoints and support your views
- "Is Ivan Illych a victim of his society or did he create his problems by his own choices?"