Top Teaching Tip of the Week – QUESTIONS from Julie Maher

Questions are so much a part of teaching that they are often taken for granted. Effective use of questions may result in more student learning than any other single technique used by teachers. In general, we should ask questions that are thought provoking and require more mental activity than simply remembering facts. Questions should require students to grasp concepts, explain similarities and differences, and to infer cause-and-effect relationships.

Here are some key characteristics of an effective question:

  • Have a specific purpose
  • Be clear in meaning
  • Stimulate thought
  • Require definite answers
  • Relate to previously covered material

If the lesson objectives are clearly established in advance of the lesson then it is easier to plan for the delivery of effective questioning. Such questions should keep student discussion moving in the right direction in lessons.

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