Sunday, February 9, 2014

Asking Questions: What questions do we ask? How do we ask?

In the famous words of my favorite DC Hero, shown below, "Now that's the Question." All kidding aside, the concept of properly asking proper questions in the classroom is something that has been back and forth in my mind. I do not believe that I will not understand the material that I am to teach, rather I do not believe that I can come up with the proper questions to be able to stimulate the class. Through experience as a student, and just talking to friends in real life, I have come to the conclusion that the best questions to ask are the ones that stimulate a conversation. It is not just simply enough to ask a question and have it answered by one student. No, the question has to be able to have multiple answers, and have the potential to spark a conversation of answers between students. So how do we ask questions like that? From what I have seen, especially in a English/Literature class, the best way is to ask the students interpretation of the work that they are reading.

Another series of questions that I have noticed that is extremely successful is to question an answer provided. Allow the student who answered the question to further explain, in depth, the answer that they have given. This allows a student to dig deeper into the work that they are looking at and bring up references to back up their answer. Many of the professors that I have had in college use this a tool to push class participation and discussion. There is that concept again, class discussion.

I guess to me, the questions that we ask are ones whose answers spark more questions. That way, a conversation and discussion can spread between the students, allowing for them to get a better understanding of the text that are working. Of course, it is our job as teachers to mediate these conversations and ensure that they go in the proper direction.

Question the Answer


  1. Hello, Gregory. I, too, think it's important to initiate dialogue to ask the right questions between students and teachers. I believe classroom discussion is key because it allows students to share their thoughts and opinions about the subject matter. Students should be open and honest in classroom discussion and shouldn't be afraid to ask tough questions. As educators, it's key we allow our students to share their own knowledge, skills, and values with the classroom.

  2. "rather I do not believe that I can come up with the proper questions to be able to stimulate the class"--Was this a typo or do you think you will have trouble coming up with good questions for your class?

    Good. But did you read any of the sources that Dr. Strange provided? You need to provide links to whatever you read!