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 Questions for Thinking: Ask open questions to improve questioning

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Ploypailin028
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PostSubject: Questions for Thinking: Ask open questions to improve questioning   18th November 2015, 12:11 am

Creative Dialogue
Talk for Thinking in Classroom



Questions for Thinking: Ask open questions to improve questioning

Poor questions limit children's thinking and opportunities for dialogue. Questions that are too closed or narrow are often the 'guess-what-the-teacher-is-thinking' type of question. When too easy they can be of the traditional stimulus-response-stimulus-response-type:
* 'What is this ...?
* 'What is that ...?
* 'What is the other...?'

This leads not to creative dialogue but to a kind of verbal tennis match, batting questions and answers back and forth. There is a place for this quick, closed, fact-finding, quiz-type questioning. A memory test can remind children what they know, and help them to remember. Children enjoy showing off what they know. But there needs to be a balance between the close 'quick-fix' questions, and open questions that really challenge children's thinking.

Examples of open-ended questions include:

'What do you think ...?'
'How do you know ...?'
'Why do you think that ...?'
'Do you have a reason ...?'
'How can you sure ...?'
'Is this always so ...?'
'Is there another way/reason/idea ...?'
'What if ...?'
'What if not ...?'
'Where is there another example of this ...?'
'What do you think happens next ...?'
'Would you rather ... or ...?'

Reference: Fisher, Robert. (2009) Creative dialogue : talk for thinking in the classroom. London : Routledge, pp 31-32.

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