Best Practice

Effective questioning in the classroom: Three types

How well do teachers use questioning to improve understanding, assess and deepen learning in your primary school? Anoara Mughal considers effective techniques, with lots of example questions teachers can pick up and use

A fundamental tool of an effective teacher is good questioning technique. It is one of the most effective and efficient ways to not only improve understanding of a topic or subject area, but to assess and deepen learning and improve pupils’ memory/retention.

One of Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction is to “ask a large number of questions and check the responses of all students”. He reminds us that “questions help students practise new information and connect new material to their prior learning” (Rosenshine, 2012).

However, we should be mindful that a large amount of surface-level questioning will not develop metacognitive thinking. The key is not the number of questions asked, but the quality of those questions – and how they are used.

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