|Questions are a very important part of the learning process.Things to be aware of with questioning:
- Closed questions have their place in workshops, but learning is enhanced when the majority of questions are of the open type
- Giving children the opportunity to frame their own questions (and possibly also decide which category they might fall into) is a very useful way of allowing them to take ownership of their learning
- Try to ‘expect the unexpected’ – if you get an answer you don’t expect, don’t shut it down with an immediate ‘no’, ask the pupil how they came up with that answer
- Be aware that what you think a question means may not be how children hear it
- Try to avoid the ‘read my mind’ type of question, where you are expecting a particular answer (maybe even a particular word) – there are almost always other valid answers
|There are three types of question:
- Closed questions – these are questions which have yes/no answers or only give the opportunity for very short (often factual) answers
- Open questions – these are questions which invite a longer answer – they often start with ‘Why..’, ‘How…’, ‘Describe…’ or ‘Explain…’
- Philosophical questions – these are questions which invite deeper thought and discussion (usually these need to be built up to)
Examples of each type of question:
||How many women are there in this picture?
||What is the name of the coffin mummies are usually found in?
||What is the woman wearing blue feeling?
||Why do you think people wanted to preserve their bodies in ancient Egypt?
||Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
||Should remains of human bodies be displayed in museums?
Watch out! What looks like an open question may turn out to be a closed question (TV interviewers are often very good at this):
e.g. ‘How did you feel when the disaster happened? Were you shocked?’ – the questioner has restricted the answer that could be given