Instructional Methods: What is the importance of questioning?

Chapter five

Facilitation Methods

5 a ii). Explain the purpose of questioning.

According to Pollard(1997) asking questions provides immediate feedback on how participants are thinking and on what they know and it accounts for a high proportion  of teacher talk.  Teacher’s questions should motivate learning, observation, and experimentation. Apart from these functions questions have the following purposes:

  • Stimulation of interest, imagination, initiative and creativity among learners.
  • Assertion of control and establishing of a rapport with learners in order to keep them alert and attentive during the lesson.
  • Reviewing the previous lesson on work covered to expose difficulties which the learners may be facing so that they are addressed. This can be done by using low-level cognitive questions to recall information or encourage analysis.
  • Preparing the learners for new content by assessing their knowledge level on a given topic. This is done by diagnosing learners and finding out their entry behavior and level of attainment.
  • Developing the ability to think, encouraging self-expression, developing an appreciation of ideas among the learners. They are encouraged to verbalize their knowledge and thoughts and to learn from each other. This can be done by open questions where learners will be required to explore information and ideas and to synthesize information.
  • Evaluating the learner’s level of understanding, by encouraging the transfer of ideas and application of knowledge and on the spot solution to problems.
  • Encouraging a problem-solving approach to thinking and learning
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