Questioning training

Good questioning creates full student participation, and checks and corrects everyone’s learning. For these reasons and others, Ofsted are rightly very concerned to see questioning done well.  But it is done badly in most classrooms because well established but ineffective methods are used.  See this page for an explanation.

To run these sessions you will need to have read Evidence Based Teaching chapters 15 and 9.  Chapter 22 helps too, as it shows that expert teachers, who get the very best value added, use class discussion or ‘interactive dialogue’ methods such as Assertive Questioning.  In Teaching Today there are chapters on Whole Class Interactive Teaching (which includes Assertive Questioning), and a more general chapter on Questioning.

Classroom discussion has an effect size of 0.82 in Hattie’s newest table (2013), and is the top of his teaching strategies. So teachers need to be able to move from simple question and answer, to class discussion. For most topics they should seriously consider using class discussion some of the time at least. This is probably true whatever the teacher teaches. For example, reviews of research on maths teaching show that discussion of mathematical methods, justifications, limitations of methods, etc are vital.

Here is a handout to help you run a session on questioning:  4.1 Which Questioning Strategy7

Here is how to use it, it will take a little time to download:  Questioning training explained

It will help to also use the differentiation training materials if teachers are not good at asking high order questions. You can use the activities on levels of questions without mentioning differentiation if you prefer.  Download diff 2 task design