Art of Questioning
Art of Questioning
To be able to use questions as an effective device in teaching and learning, the teacher should know basically the characteristics of a good question, the techniques of questioning, and the proper techniques of handling the learner’s response and questions.
Types of Questions
- To Motivate – questions that can put children in the right mood, can stir emotions or arouse a strong inclination; can induce or impel instant actions
Ex. Do you like to know some interesting habits of birds?
- To Instruct – used to highlight the need for useful information. Right procedures and directions are guided by appropriate questions. They guide, coach and advise what and how an activity should be done.
• Intended to TEACH
Ex. How does a volcano develop its steep slope?
- To Evaluate – used during a lesson primarily to find out if learning or understanding is being achieved
• Can assist teachers in diagnosing difficulties or weaknesses felt
Ex. Summing up, what factors are responsible for the upward movement of water in stems?
B. Kinds – categorized according to the following:
1. Type of Action desired
a. Soliciting – asking for information
Ex. How many guests were there?
b. Directing – proposing curse of action to take, guiding or redirecting, thinking, suggesting alternative
Ex. Why don’t you combine red and blue to make it colorful?
c. Responding – doing something called for
Ex. Shall I put out the light at the first whistle?
d. Evaluating – agreeing or not, expressing satisfaction, assessing
Ex. Did you enjoy listening to her song?
2. Level of the Lesson Objectives.
a. Low Level Question – require responses of the simple recall or memory type of answers. Defining, stating and discussing are common examples.
b. High Level Question – calls for analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and problem-solving ability
3. Use or Purpose
a. For verification – determination of whether or not a statement is true. It is the evidence that is appropriate to the solutions.
a.1. Analytic Questions – asks for definition of terms, translations, or meaning, of phrases and statements. They may be about words, terms, symbols, phrases or sentences. The response is in accordance with set of rules agreed upon rather than evidences obtained
Ex. What is a guitar? What is the square root of 16?
a.2. Empirical Questions – elicit responses that are empirical statement. The response is obtained from evidence gained through “sense experience”. We observe and decide whether the statement is true or false. Empirical Questions elicit explanations of situations, comparisons, or if-then inferences.
Ex. If we raised the temperature to 100°C, what will happen?
a.3. Valuative Questions – elicit responses that are value statements. Value statements “phrase, blame, comment, criticize, or rate something”. It will be necessary to know the criteria used by the respondent and not merely opinions.
Ex. Who is your favorite teacher and why?
b. For Productive Thinking – includes creative and “critical-analytic” dimensions of reasoning
b.1. Cognitive Memory Questions – require pupils/students to reproduce facts or remember contents through processes such as rote memory or selective recall
Ex. Summarize the author’s major point.
b.2. Convergent Questions (Close-Ended) – elicit responses which involve the merging of diverse data. It asks for a comparison, a contrast, or a drawing of a conclusion, a summary, a generalization based on prior data, or an explanation. The respondent must produce an explanation rather than recall.
Ex. Compare Teacher A and Teacher B.
b.3. Divergent Questions (Open-ended) – allows students to explore different avenues and create many different variations and alternative answers or scenarios. It requires students to analyze, synthesize, or evaluate a knowledge base and then project or predict different outcomes
Ex. Write down as many different uses as you can think for the following: 1. Brick 2. Blanket
b.4. Evaluative Questions – require pupils/students to make value judgement about the quality, correctness, or adequacy of information. Based on the same criterion usually set by the learner or by some objective standard.
Ex. What do you think of Prof. Jose Cruz as a Dean?
c. For Cognitive Function – the function of a divergent-thinking question must be viewed in the context of an ongoing interaction
c.1. Focusing Questions – serves to introduce a topic and indicate the direction of the discussion
Ex. After knowing the effect of water on fire, explain how it affects rocks.
c.2. Foundation Question – function is to elicit responses that will serve as basis of a more complex question or discussion, a recapitulation (summary of the main points) of an ongoing discussion or the presentation of new information not yet offered.
Ex. Will you review for us the main products grown in the province?
c.3. Extending Question – clarify or elaborate upon the statements already made. An elaboration is requested in order to help the respondents to realize what else is implied in the previous statements.
Ex. Please explain again how the food reaches the intestines that will help us trace the discomfort.
c.4. Lifting Question – elicit a level of thought higher or more complex that what has already been established. The response maybe an explanation of facts previously offered or justification opinion.
Ex. Who is the modern painter you like best? Why?
c.5. Promoting Question – promotes the flow of the discussion. The questions may elicit responses which will fill the missing parts in an explanation. They keep the discussion from begging down.
Ex. Considering your criteria, rate the candidates. Then we will be able to rank them.
Uses of Questions
- To stimulate pupils to think
- To motivate pupils interest
- To diagnose pupil’s difficulties
- To aid pupils to relate pertinent experiences to the lesson
- To help pupils organize, synthesize and evaluate
- To develop new appreciation and attitudes
- To show relationships such as cause and effect
- To encourage the application of concept
- To provide drill or practice
- To encourage learner evaluation
Characteristics of a Good Question
- It should be simple, clear and definitive
- It should be adapted to the age, abilities and interest of the learners.
- It must be followed with certain aims
• brief, clear, and unequivocal
• not be lifted from the book
• suited to the age, experience, and ability of the student
• deal with only one idea
• vary in difficulty
• applicable to all students
• thought-provoking and challenging
• are not self-answering
• relevant to the lesson under discussion
• in good grammatical form
Questioning Skills and Conduct of Good Questioning
- Ask questions in a conversational tone
- Varying type of questions
- Calling on non-volunteers
- Students should not be called in fixed order
- Allowing for sufficient “waiting time”
- Practice the students to answer divergent questions
- Learn by constant practice to ask the right questions at the right time.
- The teacher should move around the room
- Teachers are allowed to inject clues
- Be aware of your own style of questioning
Handling student’s response
- Show appreciation for any answer – affirm and praise
- Wrong answers should never be allowed to go uncorrected
- Following up a student’s response with related questions
- Answering in chorus should not be allowed by the teacher
- Students should be encouraged to observe correct grammar and answer in complete sentence
- Refrain from marking the student in the record book during class recitation
Handling Student’s Questions
- Teacher should be glad to welcome questions
- Irrelevant and inane questions should not be entertained
- Questions should be thrown first to the whole class for an answer or discussion
- Questions should be in correct grammar or in good language
- The teacher should honestly admit if he does not know the answer to a question
- Allow appropriate time slot for open questioning
Sequence of Questions
- Normal, Typical, Common and Ordinary